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Plant transporters involved in heavy metal homeostasis

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Author(s): Dorina Podar

Journal: Extreme Life, Biospeology & Astrobiology
ISSN 2066-7671

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: cation diffusion facilitator | Arabidopsis | plant transporter | metals

ABSTRACT
Transition metal ions (predominately manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper and zinc) havean array of catalytic and regulatory roles in the growth and development of all living organisms.However, an excess of these metal ions can also be toxic to any life form and therefore every cell andwhole organism needs to maintain the concentration of these essential nutrient metals within a narrowrange: a process known as metal homeostasis. Heavy metal ions are taken up into cells by selectivetransporters and as they cannot be degraded, the “desired” levels of metal ions are achieved by anumber of strategies that involve: chelation, sequestration and export out of the cell. Cation DiffusionFacilitators (CDF) is a large family of transporters involved in maintaining the cytosolic metalconcentration. They transport different heavy metal divalent ions, but exhibit main affinity for zinc, ironand manganese. Metal Tolerance Proteins (MTPs) are a subfamily of the Cation Diffusion Facilitator (CDF)family found in plants. There has been much interest in these heavy metal transporters in order toprovide an insight into plant metal homeostasis, which has significant implications in human health andphytoremediation. Although data regarding the CDFs/MTPs mechanism is gathering there is still littleinformation with respect to metal selectivity determinants.
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