Two MATE transporters with different subcellular localization are involved in Al tolerance in buckwheat

Guijie Lei, Kengo Yokosho, Naoki Yamaji, Jian Feng Ma

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) shows high tolerance to aluminum (Al) toxicity, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for this high Al tolerance are still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the involvement of two MATE (multi-drug and toxic compound extrusion) genes in Al tolerance. Both FeMATE1 and FeMATE2 showed efflux transport activity for citrate, but not for oxalate when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. A transient assay with buckwheat leaf protoplasts using green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion showed that FeMATE1 was mainly localized to the plasma membrane, whereas FeMATE2 was localized to the trans-Golgi and Golgi. The expression of FeMATE1 was induced by Al only in the roots, but that of FeMATE2 was up-regulated in both the roots and leaves. Furthermore, the expression of both genes only responded to Al toxicity, but not to other stresses including low pH, cadmium (Cd) and lanthanum (La). Heterologous expression of FeMATE1 or FeMATE2 in the Arabidopsis mutant atmate partially rescued its Al tolerance. Expression of FeMATE1 also partially recovered the Al-induced secretion of citrate in the transgenic lines, whereas expression of FeMATE2 did not complement the citrate secretion. Further physiological analysis showed that buckwheat roots also secreted citrate in addition to oxalate in response to Al in a dose-responsive manner. Taken together, our results indicate that FeMATE1 is involved in the Al-activated citrate secretion in the roots, while FeMATE2 is probably responsible for transporting citrate into the Golgi system for the internal detoxification of Al in the roots and leaves of buckwheat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2189
Number of pages11
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Al detoxification
  • Buckwheat
  • Citrate transporter
  • Golgi
  • MATE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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