Direct Measurement of Aluminum Uptake and Distribution in Single Cells of Chara corallina

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  • Quantitative information on the uptake and distribution of Al at the cellular level is required to understand mechanisms of Al toxicity, but direct measurement of uptake across the plasma membrane has remained elusive. We measured rates of Al transport across membranes in single cells of Chara corallina using the rare Al-26 isotope, an emerging technology (accelerator mass spectrometry), and a surgical technique for isolating subcellular compartments. Accumulation of Al in the cell wall dominated total uptake (71-318 mu g m(-2) min(-1)), although transport across the plasma membrane was detectable (71-540 ng m(-2) min(-1)) within 30 min of exposure. Transport across the tonoplast was initially negligible, but accelerated to rates approximating uptake across the plasma membrane. The avacuolate protoplasm showed signs of saturation after 60 min, but continued movement across the plasma membrane was supported by sequestration in the vacuole. Saturation of all compartments was observed after 12 to 24 h. Accumulation of Al in the cell wall reflected variation in (Al3+) induced by changes in Al supply or complexing ligands, but was unaffected by pH. In contrast, transport across the plasma membrane peaked at pH 4.3 and increased when (Al3+) was reduced by complexing ligands. Cold temperature (4 degrees C) reduced accumulation in the cell wall and protoplasm, whereas 2,4-dinitrophenol and m-chlorocarbonylcyanidephenyl hydrazone increased membrane transport by 12- to 13-fold. Our data suggest that the cell wall is the major site of Al accumulation. Nonetheless, membrane transport occurs within minutes of exposure and is supported by subsequent sequestration in the vacuole, The rapid delivery of Al to the protoplasm suggests that intracellular lesions may be possible.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2000 American Society of Plant Biologists. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Taylor, G.J., McDonald-Stephens, J.L., Hunter, D.B, Bertsch, P.M., Elmore, D., Rengel, Z. & Reid, R.J. (2000). Direct Measurement of Aluminum Uptake and Distribution in Single Cells of Chara corallina. Plant Physiology, 123(3), 987-996. DOI: 10.1104/pp.123.3.987.