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Upadhyay, Neha; Kar, Debojyoti; Mahajan, Bhagyashri Deepak; Nanda, Sanchali; Rahiman, Rini; Panchakshari, Nimisha; Bhagavatula, Lavanya and Datta, Sourav (2019): The multitasking abilities of MATE transporters in plants. In: Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 70, No. 18: pp. 4643-4656

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As sessile organisms, plants constantly monitor environmental cues and respond appropriately to modulate their growth and development. Membrane transporters act as gatekeepers of the cell regulating both the inflow of useful materials as well as exudation of harmful substances. Members of the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family of transporters are ubiquitously present in almost all forms of life including prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In bacteria, MATE proteins were originally characterized as efflux transporters conferring drug resistance. There are 58 MATE transporters in Arabidopsis thaliana, which are also known as DETOXIFICATION (DTX) proteins. In plants, these integral membrane proteins are involved in a diverse array of functions, encompassing secondary metabolite transport, xenobiotic detoxification, aluminium tolerance, and disease resistance. MATE proteins also regulate overall plant development by controlling phytohormone transport, tip growth processes, and senescence. While most of the functional characterizations of MATE proteins have been reported in Arabidopsis, recent reports suggest that their diverse roles extend to numerous other plant species. The wide array of functions exhibited by MATE proteins highlight their multitasking ability. In this review, we integrate information related to structure and functions of MATE transporters in plants. Since these transporters are central to mechanisms that allow plants to adapt to abiotic and biotic stresses, their study can potentially contribute to improving stress tolerance under changing climatic conditions.

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