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J Exp Bot. 2014 Oct;65(19):5535-56. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru320. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

Regulation of amino acid metabolic enzymes and transporters in plants.

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Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA.
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA


Amino acids play several critical roles in plants, from providing the building blocks of proteins to being essential metabolites interacting with many branches of metabolism. They are also important molecules that shuttle organic nitrogen through the plant. Because of this central role in nitrogen metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, degradation, and transport are tightly regulated to meet demand in response to nitrogen and carbon availability. While much is known about the feedback regulation of the branched biosynthesis pathways by the amino acids themselves, the regulation mechanisms at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and protein levels remain to be identified. This review focuses mainly on the current state of our understanding of the regulation of the enzymes and transporters at the transcript level. Current results describing the effect of transcription factors and protein modifications lead to a fragmental picture that hints at multiple, complex levels of regulation that control and coordinate transport and enzyme activities. It also appears that amino acid metabolism, amino acid transport, and stress signal integration can influence each other in a so-far unpredictable fashion.


Amino acid; feedback regulation; membrane; metabolism; plant; regulation; transcriptional level; transport.

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