Arabidopsis thaliana AtUTr7 encodes a golgi-localized UDP-glucose/UDP- galactose transporter that affects lateral root emergence

Michael Handford, Cecilia Rodríguez-Furlán, Lorena Marchant, Marcelo Segura, Daniela Gómez, Elena Alvarez-Buylla, Guang Yan Xiong, Markus Pauly, Ariel Orellana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleotide sugar transporters (NSTs) are antiporters comprising a gene family that plays a fundamental role in the biosynthesis of complex cell wall polysaccharides and glycoproteins in plants. However, due to the limited number of related mutants that have observable phenotypes, the biological function(s) of most NSTs in cell wall biosynthesis and assembly have remained elusive. Here, we report the characterization of AtUTr7 from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.), which is homologous to multi-specific UDP-sugar transporters from Drosophila melanogaster, humans, and Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that AtUTr7 possesses the common structural characteristics conserved among NSTs. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged version, we demonstrate that AtUTr7 is localized in the Golgi apparatus. We also show that AtUTr7 is widely expressed, especially in the roots and in specific floral organs. Additionally, the results of an in vitro nucleotide sugar transport assay carried out with a tobacco and a yeast expression system suggest that AtUTr7 is capable of transferring UDP-Gal and UDP-Glc, but not a range of other UDP- and GDP-sugars, into the Golgi lumen. Mutants lacking expression of AtUTr7 exhibited an early proliferation of lateral roots as well as distorted root hairs when cultivated at high sucrose concentrations. Furthermore, the distribution of homogalacturonan with a low degree of methyl esterification differed in lateral root tips of the mutant compared to wild-type plants, although additional analytical procedures revealed no further differences in the composition of the root cell walls. This evidence suggests that the transport of UDP-Gal and UDP-Glc into the Golgi under conditions of high root biomass production plays a role in lateral root and root hair development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1280
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Golgi apparatus
  • cell wall
  • nucleotide sugar transporters
  • nucleotide sugars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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