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Title: Analysis of ABCB phosphoglycoproteins (PGPs) and their contribution to monocot biomass, structural stability, and productivity

Efforts to manipulate production of plant secondary cell walls to improve the quality of biofuel feedstocks are currently limited by an inability to regulate the transport of small molecule components out of the cell. Plant ABCB p-glycoproteins are a small family of plasma membrane organic molecule transporters that have become primary targets for this effort, as they can potentially be harnessed to control the export of aromatic compounds and organic acids. However, unlike promiscuous mammalian ABCBs that function in multidrug resistance, all plant ABCB proteins characterized to date exhibit relatively narrow substrate specificity. Although ABCBs exhibit a highly conserved architecture, efforts to modify ABCB activity have been hampered by a lack of structural information largely because an eukaryotic ABCB protein crystal structure has yet to be obtained. Structure/ function analyses have been further impeded by the lack of a common heterologous expression system that can be used to characterize recombinant ABCB proteins, as many cannot be functionally expressed in S. cereviseae or other systems where proteins with analogous function can be readily knocked out. Using experimentally-determined plant ABCB substrate affinities and the crystal structure of the bacterial Sav1866 “half” ABC transporter, we have developed sequence/structure models for ABCBs that providemore » a testable context for mutational analysis of plant ABCB transporters. We have also developed a flexible heterologous expression system in Schizosaccharomyces pombe in which all endogenous ABC transporters have been knocked out. The effectiveness of this system for transport studies has been demonstrated by the successful functional expression all of the known PIN, AUX/LAX and ABCB auxin transporters. Our central hypothesis is that the domains of the ABCB proteins that we have identified as substrate docking sites and regulators of transport directionality can be altered or swapped to alter the transport characteristics of the proteins. We propose to combine computer modelling, mutational analyses, and complementation of well characterized Arabidopsis abcb4,14,and 19 mutants to elucidate ABCB function. The long term objective of this project is to enhance ABCB transport of cell wall components, to manipulate the direction of ABCB substrate transport, and, ultimately, to produce “designer” ABC transporters that can be used to modify plant feedstock quality.« less
  1. Purdue University
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; ABC transporters, substrate specificity, aromatic organic acids