Journal Article

Identification and Expression Analysis of Twelve Members of the Nucleobase–Ascorbate Transporter (NAT) Gene Family in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

Verónica G. Maurino, Esther Grube, Julia Zielinski, Alexander Schild, Karsten Fischer and Ulf-Ingo Flügge

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 10, pages 1381-1393
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcl011
Identification and Expression Analysis of Twelve Members of the Nucleobase–Ascorbate Transporter (NAT) Gene Family in Arabidopsis thaliana

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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By screening genome databases, 12 genes encoding membrane proteins homologous to nucleobase–ascorbate transporters (NATs) were identified in Arabidopsis thaliana. A similar number of genes was found in the rice genome. The plant NAT proteins split into five clades (I–V) based on protein multisequence alignments. This classification nicely correlates with the patterns of organ- and tissue-specific expression during the whole life cycle of A. thaliana. Interestingly, expression of two members of clade III, AtNAT7 and AtNAT8, was found to be up-regulated in undifferentiated tissues such as callus or tumors produced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Clade V comprises AtNAT12 possessing a hydrophilic N-terminal extension. Transient expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions in different systems showed that AtNAT12 along with AtNAT7 and -8 are located in the plasma membrane. Mutations in any of the AtNAT genes do not induce phenotypic alterations. The absence of obvious mutant phenotypes in single but also in double and triple mutants suggests a high degree of functional redundancy between AtNAT genes, but might also point to redundant functions provided by genes or pathways unrelated to the AtNATs.

Keywords: Agrobacterium tumefaciens — Arabidopsis — Ascorbate — Crown gall — Gene family — Nucleobases — Transporters

Journal Article.  6884 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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