A new amino acid transporter was identified from the Arabidopsis expressed sequence tag cDNAs by expressing the cDNA in a yeast amino acid transport mutant. Transport analysis of the expressed protein in yeast showed that it transports aromatic and neutral amino acids, as well as arginine. This transporter ( ANT1 , aromatic and neutral transporter) also transports indole-3-acetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The cDNA is 1.6 kb in length with an open reading frame that codes for a protein with 432 amino acids and a calculated molecular mass of 50 kD. Hydropathy analysis showed ANT1 is an integral membrane protein with 11 putative membrane-spanning domains. Southern analysis and a BLAST search of the Arabidopsis genome database suggests that ANT1 is part of a small gene family containing at least five members. Phylogenetic comparisons with other known amino acid transporters in plants suggests that ANT1 represents a new class of amino acid transporter. RNA gel-blot analysis showed that this transporter is expressed in all organs with highest abundance in flowers and cauline leaves.
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