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Free Content Peptidyl‐prolyl cis‐trans isomerase ROF2 modulates intracellular pH homeostasis in Arabidopsis

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Intracellular pH must be kept close to neutrality to be compatible with cellular functions, but the mechanisms of pH homeostasis and the responses to intracellular acidification are mostly unknown. In the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, we found that intracellular acid stress generated by weak organic acids at normal external pH induces expression of several chaperone genes, including ROF2, which encodes a peptidyl‐prolyl cis‐trans isomerase of the FK506‐binding protein class. Loss of function of ROF2, and especially double mutation of ROF2 and the closely related gene ROF1, results in acid sensitivity. Over‐expression of ROF2 confers tolerance to intracellular acidification by increasing proton extrusion from cells. The activation of the plasma membrane proton pump (H+‐ATPase) is indirect: over‐expression of ROF2 activates K+ uptake, causing depolarization of the plasma membrane, which activates the electrogenic H+ pump. The depolarization of ROF2 over‐expressing plants explains their tolerance to toxic cations such as lithium, norspermidine and hygromycin B, whose uptake is driven by the membrane potential. As ROF2 induction and intracellular acidification are common consequences of many stresses, this mechanism of pH homeostasis may be of general importance for stress tolerance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Camino de Vera, 46022 Valencia, Spain 2: Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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