Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Boron and Aquaporins

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_470



Aquaporins or major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) are transmembrane channel proteins, which facilitate the passive and bidirectional diffusion of water and a variety of small and noncharged compounds across biological membranes. Aquaporins are found in organisms of all kingdoms of life and are present in all main subcellular membrane systems. The substrate specificity/spectra of aquaporins are highly isoform-dependent. Some plant isoforms were shown to facilitate the transmembrane diffusion of boric acid, the most frequent chemical boron species that organisms have to deal with. All organisms face the challenge to handle considerable variations in the concentration of metalloids they are exposed to, in terms of either the demand to acquire sufficient amounts for their metabolism or, conversely, the necessity to extrude them to prevent toxicity. This is achieved through...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut des Sciences de la VieUniversite catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium