The arabidopsis AtOPT3 protein functions in metal homeostasis and movement of iron to developing seeds


The Arabidopsis thaliana AtOPT3 belongs to the oligopeptide transporter (OPT) family, a relatively poorly characterized family of peptide/modified peptide transporters found in archebacteria, bacteria, fungi, and plants. A null mutation in AtOPT3 resulted in embryo lethality, indicating an essential role for AtOPT3 in embryo development. In this article, we report on the isolation and phenotypic characterization of a second AtOPT3 mutant line, opt3-2, harboring a T-DNA insertion in the 5′ untranslated region of AtOPT3. The T-DNA insertion in the AtOPT3 promoter resulted in reduced but sufficient AtOPT3 expression to allow embryo formation in opt3-2 homozygous seeds. Phenotypic analyses of opt3-2 plants revealed three interesting loss-of-function phenotypes associated with iron metabolism. First, reduced AtOPT3 expression in opt3-2 plants resulted in the constitutive expression of root iron deficiency responses regardless of exogenous iron supply. Second, deregulation of root iron uptake processes in opt3-2 roots resulted in the accumulation of very high levels of iron in opt3-2 tissues. Hyperaccumulation of iron in opt3-2 resulted in the formation of brown necrotic areas in opt3-2 leaves and was more pronounced during the seed-filling stage. Third, reduced AtOPT3 expression resulted in decreased accumulation of iron in opt3-2 seeds. The reduced accumulation of iron in opt3-2 seeds is especially noteworthy considering the excessively high levels of accumulated iron in other opt3-2 tissues. AtOPT3, therefore, plays a critical role in two important aspects of iron metabolism, namely, maintenance of whole-plant iron homeostasis and iron nutrition of developing seeds. © 2007 American Society of Plant Biologists.

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Plant Physiology