Eukaryotic nitrate and nitrite transporters
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Nitrate transport is the key step controlling the amount of nitrate incorporated by the cells and subsequent of storage, reduction or export. Molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches to the study of eukaryotic nitrate/nitrite transporters allow an initial understanding of this step, which is much more complex and structured than previously suspected. At the plasma membrane level, two gene families, Nrt1 and Nrt2, account for high- and low-affinity nitrate transporters. Functionality of NRT1 from Arabidopsis and NRT2 proteins from Aspergillus and Chlamydomonas has been demonstrated. However, redundancy of these systems makes it difficult to assign particular physiological roles to each. Data on genes involved in the regulation of nitrate transport and reduction are still scarce. Information on nitrite transporters to the chloroplast is biased by the belief that in vivo nitrous acid diffuses freely to this organellum. The recent progress on these aspects is discussed in this review.
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