Plant sucrose transporters (SUTs) are members of the glycoside-pentoside- hexuronide (GPH) cation symporter family (TC2.A.2) that is part of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). All plant SUTs characterized to date function as proton-coupled symporters and catalyze the cellular uptake of sucrose. SUTs are involved in loading sucrose into the phloem and sink tissues, such as seeds, roots and flowers. Because monocots are agriculturally important, SUTs from cereals have been the focus of recent research. Here we present a functional analysis of the SUT ShSUT1 from sugarcane, an important crop species grown for its ability to accumulate high amounts of sucrose in the stem. ShSUT1 was previously shown to be expressed in maturing stems and plays an important role in the accumulation of sucrose in this tissue. Using two-electrode voltage clamping in Xenopus oocytes expressing ShSUT1, we found that ShSUT1 is highly selective for sucrose, but has a relatively low affinity for sucrose (K 0.5 = 8.26 mM at pH 5.6 and a membrane potential of -137 mV). We also found that the sucrose analog sucralose (4,1′,6′-trichloro-4, 1′,6′-trideoxy-galacto-sucrose) is a competitive inhibitor of ShSUT1 with an inhibition coefficient (Ki) of 16.5 mM. The presented data contribute to our understanding of sucrose transport in plants in general and in monocots in particular.
- Xenopus oocytes