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Aquaporins: A Family of Highly Regulated Multifunctional Channels

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MIPs and Their Role in the Exchange of Metalloids

Part of the book series: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology ((AEMB,volume 679))

Abstract

Aquaporins (AQPs) were discovered as channels facilitating water movement across cellular membranes. Whereas much of the research has focused on characterizing AQPs with respect to cell water homeostasis, recent discoveries in terms of the transport selectivity of AQP homologs has shed new light on their physiological roles. In fact, whereas some AQPs behave as “strict” water channels, others can conduct a wide range of nonpolar solutes, such as urea or glycerol and even more unconventional permeants, such as the nonpolar gases carbon dioxide and nitric oxide, the polar gas ammonia, the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide and the metalloids antimonite, arsenite, boron and silicon. This suggests that AQPs are also key players in various physiological processes not related to water homeostasis. The function, regulation and biological importance of AQPs in the different kingdoms is reviewed in this chapter, with special emphasis on animal and plant AQPs.

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Hachez, C., Chaumont, F. (2010). Aquaporins: A Family of Highly Regulated Multifunctional Channels. In: Jahn, T.P., Bienert, G.P. (eds) MIPs and Their Role in the Exchange of Metalloids. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 679. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6315-4_1

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