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Biochem J. 2017 May 4;474(10):1689-1703. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20170108.

Purification and biochemical characterization of NpABCG5/NpPDR5, a plant pleiotropic drug resistance transporter expressed in Nicotiana tabacum BY-2 suspension cells.

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Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
Laboratoire Physico Chimie Curie, Institut Curie, PSL Research University, CNRS UMR168, 75005 Paris, France.
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005 Paris, France.
Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


Pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR) transporters belong to the ABCG subfamily of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters and are involved in the transport of various molecules across plasma membranes. During evolution, PDR genes appeared independently in fungi and in plants from a duplication of a half-size ABC gene. The enzymatic properties of purified PDR transporters from yeast have been characterized. This is not the case for any plant PDR transporter, or, incidentally, for any purified plant ABC transporter. Yet, plant PDR transporters play important roles in plant physiology such as hormone signaling or resistance to pathogens or herbivores. Here, we describe the expression, purification, enzymatic characterization and 2D analysis by electron microscopy of NpABCG5/NpPDR5 from Nicotiana plumbaginifolia, which has been shown to be involved in the plant defense against herbivores. We constitutively expressed NpABCG5/NpPDR5, provided with a His-tag in a homologous system: suspension cells from Nicotiana tabacum (Bright Yellow 2 line). NpABCG5/NpPDR5 was targeted to the plasma membrane and was solubilized by dodecyl maltoside and purified by Ni-affinity chromatography. The ATP-hydrolyzing specific activity (27 nmol min-1 mg-1) was stimulated seven-fold in the presence of 0.1% asolectin. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that NpABCG5/NpPDR5 is monomeric and with dimensions shorter than those of known ABC transporters. Enzymatic data (optimal pH and sensitivity to inhibitors) confirmed that plant and fungal PDR transporters have different properties. These data also show that N. tabacum suspension cells are a convenient host for the purification and biochemical characterization of ABC transporters.


ABC transport proteins; Nicotiana tabacum; electron microscopy; kinetics; quaternary structure; suspension cells

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