skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Final Report for DE-FG02-04ER15626: P-type ATPases in Plants – Role of Lipid Flippases in Membrane Biogenesis

The long-range goal of the research is to understand the structure and biological functions of different P-type ATPases (ion pumps) in plant cells, and to use that knowledge to enhance the production of bioenergy from plants, or plant-research inspired technologies. Ptype ATPases include ion pumps that specifically transport H+, Ca2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, K+, or Na+, as well as at least one unusual subfamily that appears to function as lipid flippases, flipping specific lipids from one side of a membrane bilayer to the other. As a group, P-type ATPases are thought to consume more than 1/3 of the cellular ATP in typical eukaryotic cells. Recent research in the Harper lab focused on understanding the biochemical and biological functions of P-type ATPases that flip lipids. These flippases belong to the P4 subfamily of P-type ATPases. The activity of lipid flippases is thought to induce membrane curvature and/or create an asymmetry in which certain lipid head groups are preferential exposed to one surface or the other. In Arabidopsis thaliana there are 12 members of this family referred to as Aminophospholipid ATPase (ALA) 1 to ALA12. Using genetic knockouts, the Harper lab has established that this unusual subfamily of P-type ATPases are critical formore » plants to cope with even modest changes in temperature (e.g., down to 15°C, or up to 30°C). In addition, members of one subclade are critical for cell expansion, and loss of function mutants result in severe dwarfism. Other members of this same sub-clade are critical for pollen tube growth, and loss of function mutants are sterile under conditions of hot days and cold nights. While the cellular processes that depend on lipid flippases are still unclear, the genetic analysis of loss of function mutants clearly show they are of fundamental importance to plant growth and response to the environment.« less
  1. Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS Biofuels, plants, membrane biogenesis, lipids, P-type ATPases, abiotic stress