Functional Characterisation of Arabidopsis Thaliana Aquaglyceroporins

  • Alfons R. Weig
  • Christiane Jakob


The major intrinsic protein (MIP) gene family encodes membrane transporters with aquaporin and glycerol permease activity as the predominant transport characteristics. However, functional expression of these proteins also showed that some of the MIPs are mixed-functional pores with transport activity for water, glycerol, urea and other small uncharged solutes (review: Borgnia et al., 1999). In Arabidopsis thaliana, a model organism in plant biology, the MIP gene family consists of at least three major subgroups, the tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), the plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), and the NOD26-like MIPs (NLMs; Weig et al., 1997). While each of these subgroups contains functional aquaporins, the primary sequence analysis of the NLM cluster exhibits significant similarity to glycerol permeases of bacteria and yeast. Recently, aquaporin and glycerol permease activity of NOD26 from soybean has been demonstrated by heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes (Rivers et al., 1997) and functional reconstitution (Dean et al., 1999).


Xenopus Oocyte Major Intrinsic Protein Plasma Membrane Intrinsic Protein Tonoplast Intrinsic Protein Initial Uptake Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfons R. Weig
    • 1
  • Christiane Jakob
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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