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      Molecular and genetic characterization of the gene family encoding the voltage-dependent anion channel in Arabidopsis


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          The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), a major outer mitochondrial membrane protein, is thought to play an important role in energy production and apoptotic cell death in mammalian systems. However, the function of VDACs in plants is largely unknown. In order to determine the individual function of plant VDACs, molecular and genetic analysis was performed on four VDAC genes, VDAC1VDAC4, found in Arabidopsis thaliana. VDAC1 and VDAC3 possess the eukaryotic mitochondrial porin signature (MPS) in their C-termini, while VDAC2 and VDAC4 do not. Localization analysis of VDAC–green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions and their chimeric or mutated derivatives revealed that the MPS sequence is important for mitochondrial localization. Through the functional analysis of vdac knockout mutants due to T-DNA insertion, VDAC2 and VDAC4 which are expressed in the whole plant body are important for various physiological functions such as leaf development, the steady state of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and pollen development. Moreover, it was demonstrated that VDAC1 is not only necessary for normal growth but also important for disease resistance through regulation of hydrogen peroxide generation.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Genome-wide insertional mutagenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana.

           J Alonso (2003)
          Over 225,000 independent Agrobacterium transferred DNA (T-DNA) insertion events in the genome of the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana have been created that represent near saturation of the gene space. The precise locations were determined for more than 88,000 T-DNA insertions, which resulted in the identification of mutations in more than 21,700 of the approximately 29,454 predicted Arabidopsis genes. Genome-wide analysis of the distribution of integration events revealed the existence of a large integration site bias at both the chromosome and gene levels. Insertion mutations were identified in genes that are regulated in response to the plant hormone ethylene.
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            Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts: a versatile cell system for transient gene expression analysis.

            The transient gene expression system using Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts has proven an important and versatile tool for conducting cell-based experiments using molecular, cellular, biochemical, genetic, genomic and proteomic approaches to analyze the functions of diverse signaling pathways and cellular machineries. A well-established protocol that has been extensively tested and applied in numerous experiments is presented here. The method includes protoplast isolation, PEG-calcium transfection of plasmid DNA and protoplast culture. Physiological responses and high-throughput capability enable facile and cost-effective explorations as well as hypothesis-driven tests. The protoplast isolation and DNA transfection procedures take 6-8 h, and the results can be obtained in 2-24 h. The cell system offers reliable guidelines for further comprehensive analysis of complex regulatory mechanisms in whole-plant physiology, immunity, growth and development.
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              FLAGdb/FST: a database of mapped flanking insertion sites (FSTs) of Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA transformants.

              A large collection of T-DNA insertion transformants of Arabidopsis thaliana has been generated at the Institute of Agronomic Research, Versailles, France. The molecular characterisation of the insertion sites is currently performed by sequencing genomic regions flanking the inserted T-DNA (FST). The almost complete sequence of the nuclear genome of A.thaliana provides the framework for organising FSTs in a genome oriented database, FLAGdb/FST (http://genoplante-info.infobiogen.fr). The main scope of FLAGdb/FST is to help biologists to find the FSTs that interrupt the genes in which they are interested. FSTs are anchored to the genome sequences of A.thaliana and positions of both predicted genes and FSTs are shown graphically on sequences. Requests to locate the genomic position of a query sequence are made using BLAST programs. The response delivered by FLAGdb/FST is a graphical representation of the putative FSTs and of predicted genes in a 20 kb region.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Bot
                Journal of Experimental Botany
                Oxford University Press
                October 2011
                24 June 2011
                24 June 2011
                : 62
                : 14
                : 4773-4785
                Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8577, Japan
                Author notes
                []To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kusano@ 123456ige.tohoku.ac.jp or ytakahashi@ 123456ige.tohoku.ac.jp

                Present address: The University of Chicago, Center for Integrative Science, 929E. 57th Street, IL 60637, USA

                © 2011 The Author(s).

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                This paper is available online free of all access charges (see http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/open_access.html for further details)

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