Thursday, December 13, 2012

Major intrinsic proteins and arsenic transport in plants: new players and their potential role.

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;679:111-25. 
Bienert GP, Jahn TP. 
Unité de Biochimie Physiologique, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 5-15, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. 
Abstract - Arsenic (As) is a toxic and highly abundant metalloid that endangers human health through drinking water and the food chain. The most common forms of As in the environment re arsenate [As(V)] and arsenite [As(III)]. As(V) is a nonfunctional phosphate analog that enters the food chain via plant phosphate transporters. Recently, evidence was provided that uptake of As(III)--the second most abundant As species in soils--is mediated by plant nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), a subfamily of plant major intrinsic proteins (MIPs). Specific NIPs are also essential for the uptake of the metalloids boron and silicon and aquaglyceroporins from microbes and mammals were shown to be the major routes of As uptake. Therefore As(III) transport through MIPs is a conserved and ancient feature. In this chapter we summarize the current view on As transport in plants and address the potential physiological significance of As(III) transport through NIPs.

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