J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2013, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (9): 789-808.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12096

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Phosphorylation-dependent Trafficking of Plasma Membrane Proteins in Animal and Plant Cells

Remko Offringa1* and Fang Huang1,2   

  1. 1Molecular and Developmental Genetics, Institute Biology Leiden, Sylvius Laboratory, Sylviusweg 72, 2333 BE Leiden, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    2Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Received:2013-06-27 Accepted:2013-08-02 Published:2013-09-01
  • About author:*Author for correspondence. Tel: +31 71 527 5097; E-mail: r.offringa@biology.leidenuniv.nl


In both unicellular and multicellular organisms, transmembrane (TM) proteins are sorted to and retained at specific membrane domains by endomembrane trafficking mechanisms that recognize sorting signals in the these proteins. The trafficking and distribution of plasma membrane (PM)-localized TM proteins (PM proteins), especially of those PM proteins that show an asymmetric distribution over the PM, has received much attention, as their proper PM localization is crucial for elementary signaling and transport processes, and defects in their localization often lead to severe disease symptoms or developmental defects. The subcellular localization of PM proteins is dynamically regulated by post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination. These modificaitons mostly occur on sorting signals that are located in the larger cytosolic domains of the cargo proteins. Here we review the effects of phosphorylation of PM proteins on their trafficking, and present the key examples from the animal field that have been subject to studies for already several decades, such as that of aquaporin 2 and the epidermal growth factor receptor. Our knowledge on cargo trafficking in plants is largely based on studies of the family of PIN FORMED (PIN) carriers that mediate the efflux of the plant hormone auxin. We will review what is known on the subcellular distribution and trafficking of PIN proteins, with a focus on how this is modulated by phosphorylation, and identify and discuss analogies and differences in trafficking with the well-studied animal examples.

Offringa R, Huang F (2013) Phosphorylation‐dependent trafficking of plasma membrane proteins in animal and plant cells. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(9), 789–808.

Key words: cell polarity, endosomal trafficking, phosphorylation, PIN auxin efflux carriers, plasmamembrane-localized transmembrane proteins

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