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author:("yokose, mengo")
1.  AtPHT4;4 is a chloroplast-localized ascorbate transporter in Arabidopsis 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5928.
Ascorbate is an antioxidant and coenzyme for various metabolic reactions in vivo. In plant chloroplasts, high ascorbate levels are required to overcome photoinhibition caused by strong light. However, ascorbate is synthesized in the mitochondria and the molecular mechanisms underlying ascorbate transport into chloroplasts are unknown. Here we show that AtPHT4;4, a member of the phosphate transporter 4 family of Arabidopsis thaliana, functions as an ascorbate transporter. In vitro analysis shows that proteoliposomes containing the purified AtPHT4;4 protein exhibit membrane potential- and Cl−-dependent ascorbate uptake. The AtPHT4;4 protein is abundantly expressed in the chloroplast envelope membrane. Knockout of AtPHT4;4 results in decreased levels of the reduced form of ascorbate in the leaves and the heat dissipation process of excessive energy during photosynthesis is compromised. Taken together, these observations indicate that the AtPHT4;4 protein is an ascorbate transporter at the chloroplast envelope membrane, which may be required for tolerance to strong light stress.
In plants, ascorbate is synthesized in the mitochondria yet plays essential roles as an antioxidant in the chloroplast. Here, Miyaji et al. show that AtPHT4;4 is a chloroplast envelope ascorbate transporter and suggest it is required for dissipation of excess energy under light stress.
PMCID: PMC4308718  PMID: 25557369
2.  Brachypodium distachyon as a new model system for understanding iron homeostasis in grasses: phylogenetic and expression analysis of Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) transporters 
Annals of Botany  2011;108(5):821-833.
Background and Aims
Brachypodium distachyon is a temperate grass with a small stature, rapid life cycle and completely sequenced genome that has great promise as a model system to study grass-specific traits for crop improvement. Under iron (Fe)-deficient conditions, grasses synthesize and secrete Fe(III)-chelating agents called phytosiderophores (PS). In Zea mays, Yellow Stripe1 (ZmYS1) is the transporter responsible for the uptake of Fe(III)–PS complexes from the soil. Some members of the family of related proteins called Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) have roles in internal Fe translocation of plants, while the function of other members remains uninvestigated. The aim of this study is to establish brachypodium as a model system to study Fe homeostasis in grasses, identify YSL proteins in brachypodium and maize, and analyse their expression profiles in brachypodium in response to Fe deficiency.
The YSL family of proteins in brachypodium and maize were identified based on sequence similarity to ZmYS1. Expression patterns of the brachypodium YSL genes (BdYSL genes) were determined by quantitative RT–PCR under Fe-deficient and Fe-sufficient conditions. The types of PS secreted, and secretion pattern of PS in brachypodium were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Key Results
Eighteen YSL family members in maize and 19 members in brachypodium were identified. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that some YSLs group into a grass-specific clade. The Fe status of the plant can regulate expression of brachypodium YSL genes in both shoots and roots. 3-Hydroxy-2′-deoxymugineic acid (HDMA) is the dominant type of PS secreted by brachypodium, and its secretion is diurnally regulated.
PS secretion by brachypodium parallels that of related crop species such as barley and wheat. A single grass species-specific YSL clade is present, and expression of the BdYSL members of this clade could not be detected in shoots or roots, suggesting grass-specific functions in reproductive tissues. Finally, the Fe-responsive expression profiles of several YSLs suggest roles in Fe homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3177677  PMID: 21831857
Brachypodium distachyon; Zea mays; iron homeostasis; phytosiderophore; nicotianamine; Yellow Stripe-Like; YSL; YS1
3.  Acquisition of aluminium tolerance by modification of a single gene in barley 
Nature Communications  2012;3:713-.
Originating from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, barley has now been cultivated widely on different soil types including acid soils, where aluminium toxicity is a major limiting factor. Here we show that the adaptation of barley to acid soils is achieved by the modification of a single gene (HvAACT1) encoding a citrate transporter. We find that the primary function of this protein is to release citrate from the root pericycle cells to the xylem to facilitate the translocation of iron from roots to shoots. However, a 1-kb insertion in the upstream of the HvAACT1 coding region occurring only in the Al-tolerant accessions, enhances its expression and alters the location of expression to the root tips. The altered HvAACT1 has an important role in detoxifying aluminium by secreting citrate to the rhizosphere. Thus, the insertion of a 1-kb sequence in the HvAACT1 upstream enables barley to adapt to acidic soils.
Barley is an important food crop that has been adapted to grow on acidic soils that often contain toxic soluble aluminium. In this study, an insertion in the upstream region of a citrate transporter is shown to confer resistance of barley to aluminium toxicity and is found in aluminium-tolerant barley accessions.
PMCID: PMC3316887  PMID: 22395604

Results 1-3 (3)