skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: The Arabidopsis SWEET1 and SWEET2 uniporters recognize similar substrates while differing in subcellular localization
Sugars Will Eventually be Exported Transporters (SWEETs) are central for sugar allocation in plants. The SWEET family has approximately 20 homologs in most plant genomes, and despite extensive research on their structures and molecular functions, it is still unclear how diverse SWEETs recognize different substrates. Previous work using SweetTrac1, a biosensor constructed by the intramolecular fusion of a conformation-sensitive fluorescent protein in the plasma membrane transporter SWEET1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, identified common features in the transporter’s substrates. Here, we report SweetTrac2, a new biosensor based on the Arabidopsis vacuole membrane transporter SWEET2, and use it to explore the substrate specificity of this second protein. Our results show that SWEET1 and SWEET2 recognize similar substrates but some with different affinities. Sequence comparison and mutagenesis analysis support the conclusion that the differences in affinity depend on nonspecific interactions involving previously uncharacterized residues in the substrate-binding pocket. Furthermore, SweetTrac2 can be an effective tool for monitoring sugar transport at vacuolar membranes that would be otherwise challenging to study.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Summary

    Biotrophic pathogens are believed to strategically manipulate sugar transport in host cells to enhance their access to carbohydrates. However, mechanisms of sugar translocation from host cells to biotrophic fungi such as powdery mildew across the plant–haustorium interface remain poorly understood.

    To investigate this question, systematic subcellular localisation analysis was performed for all the 14 members of the monosaccharide sugar transporter protein (STP) family inArabidopsis thaliana. The best candidate AtSTP8 was further characterised for its transport properties inSaccharomyces cerevisiaeand potential role in powdery mildew infection by gene ablation and overexpression in Arabidopsis.

    Our results showed that AtSTP8 was mainly localised to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and appeared to be recruited to the host‐derived extrahaustorial membrane (EHM) induced by powdery mildew. Functional complementation assays inS. cerevisiaesuggested that AtSTP8 can transport a broad spectrum of hexose substrates. Moreover, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressingAtSTP8showed increased hexose concentration in leaf tissues and enhanced susceptibility to powdery mildew.

    Our data suggested that the ER‐localised sugar transporter AtSTP8 may be recruited to the EHM where it may be involved in sugar acquisition by haustoria of powdery mildew from host cells in Arabidopsis.

    more » « less
  2. Fidelity of protein targeting is essential for the proper biogenesis and functioning of organelles. Unlike replication, transcription and translation processes, in which multiple mechanisms to recognize and reject noncognate substrates are established in energetic and molecular detail, the mechanisms by which cells achieve a high fidelity in protein localization remain incompletely understood. Signal recognition particle (SRP), a conserved pathway to mediate the localization of membrane and secretory proteins to the appropriate cellular membrane, provides a paradigm to understand the molecular basis of protein localization in the cell. In this chapter, we review recent progress in deciphering the molecular mechanisms and substrate selection of the mammalian SRP pathway, with an emphasis on the key role of the cotranslational chaperone NAC in preventing protein mistargeting to the ER and in ensuring the organelle specificity of protein localization. 
    more » « less
  3. Membrane transporters of the solute carrier 6 (SLC6) family mediate various physiological processes by facilitating the translocation of amino acids, neurotransmitters, and other metabolites. In the body, the activity of these transporters is tightly controlled through various post-translational modifications with implications on protein expression, stability, membrane trafficking, and dynamics. While N-linked glycosylation is a universal regulatory mechanism among eukaryotes, a consistent mechanism of how glycosylation affects the SLC6 transporter family remains elusive. It is generally believed that glycans influence transporter stability and membrane trafficking; however, the role of glycosylation on transporter dynamics remains disputable, with differing conclusions among individual transporters across the SLC6 family. In this study, we collected over 1 ms of aggregated all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulation data to systematically identify the impact of N-glycans on SLC6 transporter dynamics. We modeled four human SLC6 transporters, the serotonin, dopamine, glycine, and B0AT1 transporters, by first simulating all possible combinations of a glycan attached to each glycosylation site followed by investigating the effect of larger, oligo-N-linked glycans to each transporter. The simulations reveal that glycosylation does not significantly affect the transporter structure but alters the dynamics of the glycosylated extracellular loop and surrounding regions. The structural consequences of glycosylation on the loop dynamics are further emphasized with larger glycan molecules attached. However, no apparent differences in ligand stability or movement of the gating helices were observed, and as such, the simulations suggest that glycosylation does not have a profound effect on conformational dynamics associated with substrate transport. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Glycosylinositolphosphorylceramides (GIPCs) are the predominant lipid in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. Characterized GIPC glycosylation mutants have severe or lethal plant phenotypes. However, the function of the glycosylation is unclear. Previously, we characterizedArabidopsis thalianaGONST1 and showed that it was a nucleotide sugar transporter which provides GDP‐mannose for GIPC glycosylation.gonst1has a severe growth phenotype, as well as a constitutive defense response. Here, we characterize a mutant in GONST1’s closest homolog, GONST2. Thegonst2‐1 allele has a minor change to GIPC headgroup glycosylation. Like other reported GIPC glycosylation mutants,gonst1‐1gonst2‐1has reduced cellulose, a cell wall polymer that is synthesized at the plasma membrane. Thegonst2‐1allele has increased resistance to a biotrophic pathogenGolovinomyces orontiibut not the necrotrophic pathogenBotrytis cinerea. Expression of GONST2 under the GONST1 promoter can rescue the gonst1 phenotype, indicating that GONST2 has a similar function to GONST1 in providing GDP‐D‐Man for GIPC mannosylation.

    more » « less
  5. Sugar translocation between cells and between subcellular compartments in plants requires either plasmodesmata or a diverse array of sugar transporters. Interactions between plants and associated microorganisms also depend on sugar transporters. The sugars will eventually be exported transporter (SWEET) family is made up of conserved and essential transporters involved in many critical biological processes. The functional significance and small size of these proteins have motivated crystallographers to successfully capture several structures of SWEETs and their bacterial homologs in different conformations. These studies together with molecular dynamics simulations have provided unprecedented insights into sugar transport mechanisms in general and into substrate recognition of glucose and sucrose in particular. This review summarizes our current understanding of the SWEET family, from the atomic to the whole-plant level. We cover methods used for their characterization, theories about their evolutionary origins, biochemical properties, physiological functions, and regulation. We also include perspectives on the future work needed to translate basic research into higher crop yields. 
    more » « less