Abiotic stresses, such as high salinity or drought, can cause proline accumulation in plants. Such an accumulation involves proline transport into mitochondria where proline catabolism occurs. By using durum wheat seedlings as a plant model system, we investigated how proline enters isolated coupled mitochondria. The occurrence of two separate translocators for proline, namely a carrier solely for proline and a proline/glutamate antiporter, is shown in a functional study in which we found the following: (1)Mitochondria undergo passive swelling in isotonic proline solutions in a stereospecific manner. (2) Externally added L-proline (Pro) generates a mitochondrial membrane potential (DW) with a rate depending on the transport of Pro across the mitochondrial inner membrane. (3) The dependence of the rate of generation of DW on increasing Pro concentrations exhibits hyperbolic kinetics. Proline transport is inhibited in a competitive manner by the non-penetrant thiol reagent mersalyl, but it is insensitive to the penetrant thiol reagent N-ethylmaleimide (NEM). (4) No accumulation of proline occurs inside the mitochondria as a result of the addition of proline externally, whereas the content of glutamate increases both in mitochondria and in the extramitochondrial phase. (5) Glutamate efflux from mitochondria occurs at a rate which depends on the mitochondrial transport, and it is inhibited in a non-competitive manner by NEM. The dependence of the rate of glutamate efflux on increasing proline concentration shows saturation kinetics. The physiological role of carriermediated transport in the regulation of proline catabolism, as well as the possible occurrence of a proline/ glutamate shuttle in durum wheat seedlings mitochondria, are discussed.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s00425-005-0166-z|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||000237335300002|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-33646417947|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|