KT-HAK-KUP transporters in major terrestrial photosynthetic organisms: A twenty years tale.
Santa-Maria, G. E., Oliferuk, S. and Moriconi, J. I.
Instituto Tecnologico Chascomus (INTECH), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) and Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Avda Intendente Marino km 8, 2. Chascomus, 7130, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: gsantama@intech.gov.ar.
Instituto Tecnologico Chascomus (INTECH), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) and Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Avda Intendente Marino km 8, 2. Chascomus, 7130, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Since their discovery, twenty years ago, KT-HAK-KUP transporters have become a keystone to understand how alkali cation fluxes are controlled in major land-dwelling photosynthetic organisms. In this review we focus on their discovery, phylogeny, and functions, as well as the regulation of its canonical member, AtHAK5. We also address issues related to structure-function studies, and the technological possibilities opened up by recent findings. Available evidence suggests that this family of transporters underwent an early divergence into major groups following the conquest of land by embryophytes. KT-HAK-KUPs are necessary to accomplish several major developmental and growth processes, as well as to ensure plant responses to environmental injuries. Although the primary function of these transporters is to mediate potassium (K(+)) fluxes, some of them can also mediate sodium (Na(+)) and cesium (Cs(+)) transport, and contribute to maintenance of K(+) (and Na(+)) homeostasis in different plant tissues. In addition, there is evidence for a role of some members of this family in auxin movement and in adenylate cyclase activity. Recent research, focusing on the regulation of the canonical member of this family, AtHAK5, revealed the existence of a complex network that involves transcriptional and post-transcriptional phenomena which control the enhancement of AtHAK5-mediated K(+) uptake when Arabidopsis thaliana plants are faced with low K(+) supply. In spite of the formidable advances made since their discovery, important subjects remain to be elucidated to gain a more complete knowledge of the roles and regulation of KT-HAK-KUPs, as well as to improve their use for innovative procedures in crop breeding.
Journal of Plant Physiology 226: 77-90 (2018)