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

Methylation of aquaporins in plant plasma membrane.

A thorough analysis, using MS, of aquaporins expressed in plant root PM (plasma membrane) was performed, with the objective of revealing novel post-translational regulations. Here we show that the N-terminal tail of PIP ( PM intrinsic protein) aquaporins can exhibit multiple modifications and is differentially processed between members of the PIP1 and PIP2 subclasses. Thus the initiating methionine was acetylated or cleaved in native PIP1 and PIP2 isoforms respectively. In addition, several residues were detected to be methylated in PIP2 aquaporins. Lys(3) and Glu(6) of PIP2;1, one of the most abundant aquaporins in the PM, occurred as di- and mono-methylated residues respectively. Ectopic expression in Arabidopsis suspension cells of PIP2;1, either wild-type or with altered methylation sites, revealed an interplay between methylation at the two sites. Measurements of water transport in PM vesicles purified from these cells suggested that PIP2;1 methylation does not interfere with the aquaporin intrinsic water permeability. In conclusion, the present study identifies methylation as a novel post-translational modification of aquaporins, and even plant membrane proteins, and may represent a critical advance towards the identification of new regulatory mechanisms of membrane transport.[1]


  1. Methylation of aquaporins in plant plasma membrane. Santoni, V., Verdoucq, L., Sommerer, N., Vinh, J., Pflieger, D., Maurel, C. Biochem. J. (2006) [Pubmed]
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