The fern Pteris vittata is an arsenic hyperaccumulator. The genes involved in arsenite (As(III)) transport are not yet clear. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of a new P. vittata aquaporin gene, PvTIP4;1, which may mediate As(III) uptake.
PvTIP4;1 was identified from yeast functional complement cDNA library of P. vittata. Arsenic toxicity and accumulating activities of PvTIP4;1 were analyzed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis. Subcellular localization of PvTIP4;1–GFP fusion protein in P. vittata protoplast and callus was conducted. The tissue expression of PvTIP4;1 was investigated by quantitative real-time PCR. Site-directed mutagenesis of the PvTIP4;1 aromatic/arginine (Ar/R) domain was studied.
Heterologous expression in yeast demonstrates that PvTIP4;1 was able to facilitate As(III) diffusion. Transgenic Arabidopsis showed that PvTIP4;1 increases arsenic accumulation and induces arsenic sensitivity. Images and FM4-64 staining suggest that PvTIP4;1 localizes to the plasma membrane in P. vittata cells. A tissue location study shows that PvTIP4;1 transcripts are mainly expressed in roots. Site-directed mutation in yeast further proved that the cysteine at the LE1 position of PvTIP4;1 Ar/R domain is a functional site.
PvTIP4;1 is a new represented tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP) aquaporin from P. vittata and the function and location results imply that PvTIP4;1 may be involved in As(III) uptake.
Via Christophe Jacquet