Boron and Aquaporins
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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