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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Functional characterization of betaine/proline transporters in betaine-accumulating mangrove.

Betaine is an important osmoprotectant in many plants, but its transport activity has only been demonstrated using a proline transporter from tomato, a betaine-nonaccumulating plant. In this study, two full-length and one partial transporter genes were isolated from betaine-accumulating mangrove Avicennia marina. Their homologies to betaine transporters from bacteria and betaine/4-aminobutyrate transporters from mammalian cells were low but were high to proline transporters from Arabidopsis and tomato. Two full-length transporters could complement the Na(+)-sensitive phenotype of the Escherichia coli mutant deficient in betT, putPA, proP, and proU. Both transporters could efficiently take up betaine and proline with similar affinities (K(m), 0.32-0.43 mm) and maximum velocities (1.9-3.6 nmol/min/mg of protein). The uptakes of betaine and proline were significantly inhibited by mono- and dimethylglycine but only partially inhibited by betaine aldehyde, choline, and 4-aminobutyrate. Sodium and potassium chloride markedly enhanced betaine uptake rates with optimum concentrations at 0.5 m, whereas sucrose showed only modest activation. The change of amino acids Thr(290)-Thr-Ser(292) in a putative periplasmic loop to Arg(290)-Gly-Arg(292) yielded the active transporter independent of salts, suggesting the positive charge induced a conformational change to the active form. These data clearly indicate that the betaine-accumulating mangrove contains betaine/proline transporters whose properties are distinct from betaine transporters of bacteria and mammalian cells.[1]


  1. Functional characterization of betaine/proline transporters in betaine-accumulating mangrove. Waditee, R., Hibino, T., Tanaka, Y., Nakamura, T., Incharoensakdi, A., Hayakawa, S., Suzuki, S., Futsuhara, Y., Kawamitsu, Y., Takabe, T., Takabe, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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