Lateral relocation of auxin efflux regulator PIN3 mediates tropism in Arabidopsis

Nature. 2002 Feb 14;415(6873):806-9. doi: 10.1038/415806a.


Long-standing models propose that plant growth responses to light or gravity are mediated by asymmetric distribution of the phytohormone auxin. Physiological studies implicated a specific transport system that relocates auxin laterally, thereby effecting differential growth; however, neither the molecular components of this system nor the cellular mechanism of auxin redistribution on light or gravity perception have been identified. Here, we show that auxin accumulates asymmetrically during differential growth in an efflux-dependent manner. Mutations in the Arabidopsis gene PIN3, a regulator of auxin efflux, alter differential growth. PIN3 is expressed in gravity-sensing tissues, with PIN3 protein accumulating predominantly at the lateral cell surface. PIN3 localizes to the plasma membrane and to vesicles that cycle in an actin-dependent manner. In the root columella, PIN3 is positioned symmetrically at the plasma membrane but rapidly relocalizes laterally on gravity stimulation. Our data indicate that PIN3 is a component of the lateral auxin transport system regulating tropic growth. In addition, actin-dependent relocalization of PIN3 in response to gravity provides a mechanism for redirecting auxin flux to trigger asymmetric growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Gravitation
  • Hypocotyl / genetics
  • Hypocotyl / growth & development
  • Hypocotyl / metabolism
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Introns / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Physical Chromosome Mapping
  • Protein Transport


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • PIN3 protein, Arabidopsis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF089084