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Phosphate (Pi) Starvation Effect on the Cytosolic Pi Concentration and Pi Exchanges across the Tonoplast in Plant Cells: An in Vivo ³¹P-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Study Using Methylphosphonate as a Pi Analog

Pratt, James, Boisson, Anne-Marie, Gout, Elisabeth, Bligny, Richard, Douce, Roland, Aubert, Serge
Plant physiology 2009 v.151 no.3 pp. 1646-1657
Acer pseudoplatanus, Arabidopsis thaliana, cytosol, phosphates, plasma membrane, starvation, tonoplast, vacuoles
In vivo ³¹P-NMR analyses showed that the phosphate (Pi) concentration in the cytosol of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cells was much lower than the cytoplasmic Pi concentrations usually considered (60-80 μM instead of >1 mM) and that it dropped very rapidly following the onset of Pi starvation. The Pi efflux from the vacuole was insufficient to compensate for the absence of external Pi supply, suggesting that the drop of cytosolic Pi might be the first endogenous signal triggering the Pi starvation rescue metabolism. Successive short sequences of Pi supply and deprivation showed that added Pi transiently accumulated in the cytosol, then in the stroma and matrix of organelles bounded by two membranes (plastids and mitochondria, respectively), and subsequently in the vacuole. The Pi analog methylphosphonate (MeP) was used to analyze Pi exchanges across the tonoplast. MeP incorporated into cells via the Pi carrier of the plasma membrane; it accumulated massively in the cytosol and prevented Pi efflux from the vacuole. This blocking of vacuolar Pi efflux was confirmed by in vitro assays with purified vacuoles. Subsequent incorporation of Pi into the cells triggered a massive transfer of MeP from the cytosol to the vacuole. Mechanisms for Pi exchanges across the tonoplast are discussed in the light of the low cytosolic Pi level, the cell response to Pi starvation, and the Pi/MeP interactive effects.