Transport of Compatible Solutes in Extremophiles
- Cite this article as:
- Pflüger, K. & Müller, V. J Bioenerg Biomembr (2004) 36: 17. doi:10.1023/B:JOBB.0000019594.43450.c5
- 166 Downloads
Salt-tolerant as well as moderately halophilic and halophilic organisms have to maintain their turgor. One strategy is to accumulate small organic compounds, compatible solutes, by de novo synthesis or uptake. From a bioenergetic point of view, uptake is preferred over biosynthesis. The transport systems catalyzing uptake of compatible solutes are of primary or secondary nature and coupled to ATP hydrolysis or ion (H+, Na+) symport. Expression of the transporter genes as well as the activity of the transporters is regulated by salinity/osmolarity and one of the key questions is how salinity or osmolarity is sensed and the signal transmitted as far as to gene expression and transporter activation. Recent studies shed light on the nature and the activation mechanisms of solute transporters in extremophiles, and this review summarizes current knowledge on the structure, function and osmo- or salt-regulation of transporters for compatible solutes in extremophiles.