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FEBS J. 2011 Nov;278(22):4293-303. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08371.x. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Potassium channels in plant cells.

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Centro de Biotecnologia y Genomica de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Potassium (K(+) ) is the most abundant inorganic cation in plant cells. Unlike animals, plants lack sodium/potassium exchangers. Instead, plant cells have developed unique transport systems for K(+) accumulation and release. An essential role in potassium uptake and efflux is played by potassium channels. Since the first molecular characterization of K(+) channels from Arabidopsis thaliana in 1992, a large number of studies on plant potassium channels have been conducted. Potassium channels are considered to be one of the best characterized class of membrane proteins in plants. Nevertheless, knowledge on plant potassium channels is still incomplete. This minireview focuses on recent developments in the research of potassium transport in plants with a strong focus on voltage-gated potassium channels.

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