Major Intrinsic Proteins and Arsenic Transport in Plants: New Players and Their Potential Role

  • Gerd P. Bienert
  • Thomas P. Jahn
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 679)


Arsenic (As) is a toxic and highly abundant metalloid that endangers human health through drinking water and the food chain. The most common forms of As in the environment are arsenate [As(V)] and arsenite [As(III)]. As(V) is a nonfunctional phosphate analog that enters the food chain via plant phosphate transporters. Recently, evidence was provided that uptake of As(III)—the second most abundant As species in soils—is mediated by plant nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), a subfamily of plant major intrinsic proteins (MIPs). Specific NIPs are also essential for the uptake of the metalloids boron and silicon and aquaglyceroporins from microbes and mammals were shown to be the major routes of As uptake. Therefore As(III) transport through MIPs is a conserved and ancient feature. In this chapter we summarize the current view on As transport in plants and address the potential physiological significance of As(III) transport through NIPs.


Rice Root Arsenic Species Phosphate Transporter Arsenate Reductase Major Intrinsic Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and Ecology Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksbergDenmark
  2. 2.Unité de Biochimie Physiologique, Institut des Sciences de la VieUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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