J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (5): 588-603.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00104.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

Arabidopsis SOI33/AtENT8 Gene Encodes a Putative Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter That Is Involved in Cytokinin Transport In Planta

Jiaqiang SUN, Naoya HIROSE, Xingchun WANG, Pei WEN, Li XUE, Hitoshi SAKAKIBARA,Jianru ZUO   

Abstract: The plant phytohormone cytokinin plays an important role in many facets of plant growth and development by regulating cell division and differentiation. Recent studies have shed significant light into the mechanisms of cytokinin metabolism and signaling. However, little is known about how the hormone is transported in planta, although it has been proposed that the hormone is presumably transported in nucleoside-conjugated forms. Here, we report the identification and characterization of cytokinin transporters in Arabidopsis. We previously reported that a gain-of-function mutation in the PGA22/AtIPT8 gene caused overproduction of cytokinins in planta. In an effort to screen for suppressor of pga22/atipt8 (soi) mutants, we identified a mutant soi33-1. Molecular and genetic analyses indicated that SOI33 encodes a putative equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT), previously designated as AtENT8. Members of this small gene family are presumed to be involved in the transport of nucleosides in eukaryotic cells. Under conditions of nitrogen starvation, loss-of-function mutations in SOI33/AtENT8 or in a related gene AtENT3 cause a reduced sensitivity to the nucleoside-type cytokinins isopentenyladenine riboside (iPR) and trans-zeatin riboside (tZR), but display a normal response to the free base-type cytokinins isopentenyladenine (iP) and trans-zeatin (tZ). Conversely, overexpression of SOI33/AtENT8 renders transgenic plants hypersensitive to iPR but not to iP. An in planta measurement experiment indicated that uptake efficiency of 3H-labeled iPR was reduced more than 40% in soi33 and atent3 mutants. However, a mutation in AtENT1 had no substantial effect on the cytokinin response and iPR uptake efficiency. Our results suggest that SOI33/AtENT8 and AtENT3 are involved in the transport of nucleoside-type cytokinins in Arabidopsis.

Key words: Arabidopsis, cytokinin transport, equilibrative nucleoside transporter, SOI33.

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