The Vacuole: Possible Role in Signal Transduction Versus Cytoplasmic Homeostasis?
Experimental evidence demonstrates that plant vacuoles play an important role in homeostasis. They may store temporarily excesses of solutes which are released at a later stage when cytoplasmic concentrations decrease. Such a dynamic role in the accumulation and mobilization of organic compounds and mineral ions has been deduced from the measurement of solute concentrations in different compartments in vivo using non destructive methods or in vitro on isolated protoplasts and vacuoles. Yeast cells with selectively permeabilized plasma membrane have also been used for such a purpose. One of the most impressive examples of vacuole/cytoplasm reversible exchanges concern the organic acids in crassulacean metabolism. They accumulate into the vacuole during the night and are progressively released during the day depending on cytoplasmic needs. Other clear evidences support the role of vacuoles in cytoplasmic pH homeostasis (Torimitsu et al., 1984) or in the maintenance of cytoplasmic phosphate (Rebeille et al., 1983) and potassium concentrations (Pitman et al., 1981; Storey and Leigh, 1987). As in yeast, it is most likely that vacuoles ensure the stability of aminoacid pools in the cytoplasm.
KeywordsReversible Phosphorylation Plant Vacuole Cytoplasmic Concentration Parsley Cell Tonoplast Protein
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