Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Differential response of vacuolar proton pumps to osmotica

Fan S. Chiu A , Shen H. Hsu A , Jiun H. Chen A , Yi Y. Hsiao A , Yih J. Pan A , Ru C. Van A , Yun T. Huang A , Fang G. Tseng B , Wing M. Chou C , Shih K. Fan D and Rong L. Pan A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Bioinformatics and Structural Biology, College of Life Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsin Chu 30043, Taiwan, Republic of China.

B Department of Engineering and System Science, College of Nuclear Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsin Chu 30043, Taiwan, Republic of China.

C Department of Biotechnology, National Formosa University, Huwei, Yunlin 63208, Taiwan, Republic of China.

D Institute of Nanotechnology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsin Chu 30013, Taiwan, Republic of China.

E Corresponding author. Email: rlpan@life.nthu.edu.tw

Functional Plant Biology 33(2) 195-206 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP03248
Submitted: 15 December 2003  Accepted: 5 October 2005   Published: 3 February 2006

Abstract

The vacuole is a fundamental and dominant organelle and occupies a large part of the total cell volume in most mature plant cells. The higher-plant vacuole contains two types of proton-translocating pumps, H+-ATPase (EC 3.6.1.3) and H+-pyrophosphatase (EC 3.6.1.1), residing on the same membrane. These two enzymes generate roughly equal proton gradients across the vacuolar membrane for the secondary transport of ions and metabolites. However, the pumps respond differentially to stress in order to maintain critical functions of the vacuole. In this work, tonoplasts from etiolated mung bean seedlings (Vigna radiata L.) were used to investigate the function of these two enzymes under high osmotic pressure. At high concentrations of sucrose or sorbitol, the light scattering and volume of isolated vesicles were progressively changed. Concomitantly, enzymatic activities, proton translocation, and coupling efficiencies of these two proton-pumping enzymes were inhibited to various extents under high osmotic pressure. No significant change in enzymatic activities of purified vacuolar H+-PPase and H+-ATPase under similar conditions was observed. We thus believe that the membrane structure is an important determinant for proper function of proton pumping systems of plant vacuoles. Furthermore, kinetic analysis shows different variation in apparent Vmax but not in KM values of vacuolar H+-PPase and H+-ATPase at high osmolarity of sucrose and sorbitol, respectively, suggesting probable alterations in substrate hydrolysis reactions but not substrate-binding affinity of the enzymes. A working model is proposed to interpret supplemental roles of vacuolar H+-PPase and H+-ATPase to maintain appropriate functions of plant tonoplasts.

Keywords: atomic force microscopy, H+-pyrophosphatase, light scattering, osmosis, proton translocation, tonoplast, vacuolar H+-ATPase.


Acknowledgments

We appreciate the kind gifts of antibodies provided by Drs M Maeshima (anti-V-PPase antibody) and H Sze (anti-V-ATPase subunit c). This work was supported by the grants from National Science Council, Republic of China (NSC 94-2311-B-007-012; NSC 94-2627-M-007-003) to RLP, FGT, and (NSC 94-2627-M-009-001) to SKF, respectively.


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