Regulating Intracellular Calcium in Plants: From Molecular Genetics to Physiology

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To grow, develop, adapt, and reproduce, plants have evolved mechanisms to regulate the uptake, translocation and sorting of calcium ions into different cells and subcellular compartments. Yet how plants accomplish this remarkable feat is still poorly understood. The spatial and temporal changes in intracellular [Ca2+] during growth and during responses to hormonal and environmental stimuli indicate that Ca2+ influx and efflux transporters are diverse and tightly regulated in plants. The specific goals were to determine the biological roles of multiple Ca pumps (ECAs) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We had pioneered the use of K616 yeast strain to functionally ... continued below

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Sze, Heven June 22, 2008.

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To grow, develop, adapt, and reproduce, plants have evolved mechanisms to regulate the uptake, translocation and sorting of calcium ions into different cells and subcellular compartments. Yet how plants accomplish this remarkable feat is still poorly understood. The spatial and temporal changes in intracellular [Ca2+] during growth and during responses to hormonal and environmental stimuli indicate that Ca2+ influx and efflux transporters are diverse and tightly regulated in plants. The specific goals were to determine the biological roles of multiple Ca pumps (ECAs) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We had pioneered the use of K616 yeast strain to functionally express plant Ca pumps, and demonstrated two distinct types of Ca pumps in plants (Sze et al., 2000. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 51,433). ACA2 represented one type that was auto-inhibited by the N-terminal region and stimulated by calmodulin. ECA1 represented another type that was not sensitive to calmodulin and phylogenetically distinct from ACAs. The goal to determine the biological roles of multiple ECA-type Ca pumps in Arabidopsis has been accomplished. Although we demonstrated ECA1 was a Ca pump by functional expression in yeast, the in vivo roles of ECAs was unclear. A few highlights are described. ECA1 and/or ECA4 are Ca/Mn pumps localized to the ER and are highly expressed in all cell types. Using homozygous T-DNA insertional mutants of eca1, we demonstrated that the ER-bound ECA1 supports growth and confers tolerance of plants growing on medium low in Ca or containing toxic levels of Mn. This is the first genetic study to determine the in vivo function of a Ca pump in plants. A phylogenetically distinct ECA3 is also a Ca/Mn pump that is localized to endosome, such as post-Golgi compartments. Although it is expressed at lower levels than ECA1, eca3 mutants are impaired in Ca-dependent root growth and in pollen tube elongation. Increased secretion of wall proteins in mutants suggests that Ca and Mn homeostasis in post-Golgi compartments are critical for secretory activities. Moreover, perturbation of the secretory machinery limits growth possibly by upsetting the synthesis, processing and assembly of cell wall components. Analyses of whole genome transcriptome of pollen shows that a subset of Ca pump genes are developmentally regulated. Each ECA Ca pump is localized to distinct endomembrane compartments and regulate Ca and Mn homeostasis required for optimal growth and for tolerance to high Mn stress. Ca and Mn levels within endomembrane lumen appear to be critical for activities of the secretory machinery including post-Golgi compartments that coordinate membrane traffic and sorting of materials to the vacuole and the cell wall. Significance: Thus sorting of Ca/Mn by ECA pumps in endomembranes is critical for membrane trafficking pattern which serves as a central coordinator of plant growth, development and adaptation to abiotic and biotic stress.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/20200-1A
  • Grant Number: FG02-95ER20200
  • DOI: 10.2172/932554 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932554
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898263

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  • June 22, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 4:35 p.m.

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Sze, Heven. Regulating Intracellular Calcium in Plants: From Molecular Genetics to Physiology, report, June 22, 2008; College Park, Maryland. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898263/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.