The bare necessities of plant K+ channel regulation

Lefoulon, C. (2021) The bare necessities of plant K+ channel regulation. Plant Physiology, 187(4), pp. 2092-2109. (doi: 10.1093/plphys/kiab266) (PMID:34618033)

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Potassium (K+) channels serve a wide range of functions in plants from mineral nutrition and osmotic balance to turgor generation for cell expansion and guard cell aperture control. Plant K+ channels are members of the superfamily of voltage-dependent K+ channels, or Kv channels, that include the Shaker channels first identified in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Kv channels have been studied in depth over the past half-century and are the best-known of the voltage-dependent channels in plants. Like the Kv channels of animals, the plant Kv channels are regulated over timescales of milliseconds by conformational mechanisms that are commonly referred to as gating. Many aspects of gating are now well established, but these channels still hold some secrets, especially when it comes to the control of gating. How this control is achieved is especially important, as it holds substantial prospects for solutions to plant breeding with improved growth and water use efficiencies. Resolution of the structure for the KAT1 K+ channel, the first channel from plants to be crystallized, shows that many previous assumptions about how the channels function need now to be revisited. Here, I strip the plant Kv channels bare to understand how they work, how they are gated by voltage and, in some cases, by K+ itself, and how the gating of these channels can be regulated by the binding with other protein partners. Each of these features of plant Kv channels has important implications for plant physiology.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lefoulon, Dr Cecile
Authors: Lefoulon, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:Plant Physiology
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists
ISSN (Online):1532-2548
Published Online:11 June 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Plant Physiology 187(4): 2092-2109
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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