A novel family of magnesium transport genes in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2001 Dec;13(12):2761-75. doi: 10.1105/tpc.010352.


Magnesium (Mg(2+)) is the most abundant divalent cation in plant cells and plays a critical role in many physiological processes. We describe the identification of a 10-member Arabidopsis gene family (AtMGT) encoding putative Mg(2+) transport proteins. Most members of the AtMGT family are expressed in a range of Arabidopsis tissues. One member of this family, AtMGT1, functionally complemented a bacterial mutant lacking Mg(2+) transport capability. A second member, AtMGT10, complemented a yeast mutant defective in Mg(2+) uptake and increased the cellular Mg(2+) content of starved cells threefold during a 60-min uptake period. (63)Ni tracer studies in bacteria showed that AtMGT1 has highest affinity for Mg(2+) but may also be capable of transporting several other divalent cations, including Ni(2+), Co(2+), Fe(2+), Mn(2+), and Cu(2+). However, the concentrations required for transport of these other cations are beyond normal physiological ranges. Both AtMGT1 and AtMGT10 are highly sensitive to Al(3+) inhibition, providing potential molecular targets for Al(3+) toxicity in plants. Using green fluorescence protein as a reporter, we localized AtMGT1 protein to the plasma membrane in Arabidopsis plants. We suggest that the AtMGT gene family encodes a Mg(2+) transport system in higher plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Aluminum / metabolism
  • Aluminum / pharmacology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Cations, Divalent / metabolism
  • Cations, Divalent / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Cations, Divalent
  • CorA protein, Salmonella
  • MGT1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Aluminum
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • MgtB protein, Salmonella typhimurium
  • Magnesium

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF322255