Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Selenium and Aquaporins

  • Gerd Patrick Bienert
  • François Chaumont
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_473



Aquaporins or major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) are transmembrane channel proteins, which facilitate the passive and bidirectional diffusion of water and/or small and noncharged compounds across biological membranes. Aquaporins are found in organisms of all kingdoms of life and are present in all main subcellular membrane systems. The substrate specificity/spectra of aquaporins are highly isoform-dependent. Selenite is one of the major bioaccessible selenium compounds for plants. A member of the nodulin26-like intrinsic protein (NIP) aquaporin subfamily from rice (Oryza sativa) was shown to facilitate the diffusion of undissociated selenite molecules across the plasma membrane. To date, aquaporins represent the only known selenite transport proteins in plants.

Selenium in Plants

Selenium (Se) is an essential microelement in most eukaryotes, including mammals and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut des Sciences de la VieUniversite catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium