Plasma membrane-localized transporter for aluminum in rice

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Aluminum(Al) is themost abundantmetal in the Earth's crust, but its trivalent ionic form is highly toxic to all organisms at low concentrations. How Al enters cells has not been elucidated in any organisms. Herein, we report a transporter, Nrat1 (Nramp aluminum transporter 1), specific for trivalent Al ion in rice. Nrat1 belongs to the Nramp (natural resistance-associated macrophage protein) family, but shares a low similarity with other Nramp members. When expressed in yeast, Nrat1 transports trivalent Al ion, but not other divalent ions, such as manganese, iron, and cadmium, or the Al-citrate complex. Nrat1 is localized at the plasma membranes of all cells of root tips except epidermal cells. Knockout of Nrat1 resulted in decreased Al uptake, increased Al binding to cell wall, and enhanced Al sensitivity, but did not affect the tolerance to other metals. Expression of Nrat1 is up-regulated by Al in the roots and regulated by a C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor (ART1). We therefore concluded that Nrat1 is a plasma membrane-localized transporter for trivalent Al, which is required for a prior step of final Al detoxification through sequestration of Al into vacuoles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18381-18385
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2010

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