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Characterization Of An Amino Acid Permease From The Endomycorrhizal Fungus Glomus Mosseae    

Gilda Cappellazzo, Luisa Lanfranco, Michael Fitz, Daniel Wipf, Paola Bonfante

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Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are capable of exploiting organic nitrogen sources, but the molecular mechanisms that control such an uptake are still unknown. Polymerase chain reaction-based approaches, bioinformatic tools, and a heterologous expression system have been used to characterize a sequence coding for an amino acid permease (GmosAAP1) from the AM fungus Glomus mosseae. The GmosAAP1 shows primary and secondary structures that are similar to those of other fungal amino acid permeases. Functional complementation and uptake experiments in a yeast mutant that was defective in the multiple amino acid uptake system demonstrated that GmosAAP1 is able to transport proline through a proton-coupled, pH- and energy-dependent process. A competitive test showed that GmosAAP1 binds nonpolar and hydrophobic amino acids, thus indicating a relatively specific substrate spectrum. GmosAAP1 mRNAs were detected in the extraradical fungal structures. Transcript abundance was increased upon exposure to organic nitrogen, in particular when supplied at 2 mm concentrations. These findings suggest that GmosAAP1 plays a role in the first steps of amino acid acquisition, allowing direct amino acid uptake from the soil and extending the molecular tools by which AM fungi exploit soil resources.