Identification of a copper transporter family in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant Mol Biol. 2003 Mar;51(4):577-87. doi: 10.1023/a:1022345507112.


Despite copper ions being crucial in proteins participating in plant processes such as electron transport, free-radical elimination and hormone perception and signaling, very little is known about copper inward transport across plant membranes. In this work, a five-member family (COPT1-5) of putative Arabidopsis copper transporters is described. We ascertain the ability of these proteins to functionally complement and transport copper in the corresponding Saccharomyces cerevisiae high-affinity copper transport mutant. The specific expression pattern of the Arabidopsis COPT1-5 mRNA in different tissues was analyzed by RT-PCR. Although all members are ubiquitously expressed, differences in their relative abundance in roots, leaves, stem and flowers have been observed. Moreover, steady-state COPT1 and COPT2 mRNA levels, the members that are most efficacious in complementing the S. cerevisiae high-affinity copper transport mutant, are down-regulated under copper excess, consistent with a role for these proteins in copper transport in Arabidopsis cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Copper / metabolism
  • Copper / pharmacology
  • Copper Transporter 1
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • COPT1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Copper Transporter 1
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Copper

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF466370
  • GENBANK/AF466371
  • GENBANK/AF466372
  • GENBANK/AF466373
  • GENBANK/AF466374