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

Characterization of sterol uptake in leaf tissues of sugar beet.

The uptake of cholesterol has been characterized in leaf discs from mature leaves of sugar beet ( Beta vulgaris L.). This transport system exhibited a simple saturable phase with an apparent Michaelis constant ranging from 30 to 190 microM depending on the sample. When present at 10 M excess, other sterols were able to inhibit cholesterol uptake. Moreover, binding assays demonstrated the presence of high-affinity binding sites for cholesterol in purified plasma membrane vesicles. In the range 1-60 microM, cholesterol uptake showed an active component evidenced by action of the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone. Energy was required as shown by the inhibition of uptake induced by respiration inhibitors (NaN(3)), darkness and photosynthesis inhibitors [3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea, methyl viologen]. Moreover, the process was strongly dependent on the experimental temperature. Uptake was optimal at acidic pH (4.0), sensitive to ATPase modulators, inhibited by thiol reagents (N-ethylmaleimide, p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid, Mersalyl) and by the histidyl-group reagent diethyl pyrocarbonate. The addition of cholesterol did not modify H(+) flux from tissues, indicating that H(+)-co-transport was unlikely to be involved. MgATP did not increase the uptake, arguing against involvement of an ABC cassette-type transporter. By contrast, cryptogein, a sterol carrier protein from the Oomycete Phytophtora cryptogea, greatly increased absorption. Taken together, the results reported in this work suggest that plant cells contain a specific plasma membrane transport system for sterols.[1]


  1. Characterization of sterol uptake in leaf tissues of sugar beet. Rossard, S., Bonmort, J., Guinet, F., Ponchet, M., Roblin, G. Planta (2003) [Pubmed]
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