|Weig, A R; Deswarte, C; Chrispeels, MJ: The major intrinsic protein family of Arabidopsis has 23 members that form three distinct groups with functional aquaporins in each group, Plant Physiology, 114, 1347-1357 (1997), doi:10.1104/pp.114.4.1347 [Link]|
Aquaporins, proteins that enhance the permeability of biological membranes to water, are widely distributed in living organisms. They are 26- to 29-kD proteins that belong to the major intrinsic protein (MIP) family of channels. By searching the Arabidopsis thaliana expressed sequence tag database and by using the polymerase chain reaction with oligonucleotides to conserved plant aquaporin domains, we identified 23 expressed Arabidopsis MIP genes. Eight of these had been previously identified as active aquaporins, and two additional ones are now reported to have water-transport activity in Xenopus laevis oocytes. One of these is highly expressed in suspension-cultured cells. On a dendrogram these 23 MIP sequences cluster into three groups: the first group has 11 members and contains the plasma membrane aquaporins, the second group also has 11 members and contains the tonoplast aquaporins, and the third group has only a single member. This MIP protein, provisionally called At-NLM1, is most closely related to the Gm-NOD26 protein that is found in the bacteroid membranes of soybean (Glycine max L.) nodules; At-NLM1 is an active aquaporin when expressed in oocytes. With a semiquantitative slot-blot analysis technique, we determined the expression levels of 22 MIP genes in the various organs. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the effects of various stress treatments on the expression of NLM1.