Polar transport of auxin: carrier-mediated flux across the plasma membrane or neurotransmitter-like secretion?

Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;13(6):282-5. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(03)00084-9.


Auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) has its name derived from the Greek word auxein, meaning 'to increase', and it drives plant growth and development. Auxin is a small molecule derived from the amino acid tryptophan and has both hormone- and morphogen-like properties. Although there is much still to be learned, recent progress has started to unveil how auxin is transported from cell-to-cell in a polar manner. Two recent breakthrough papers from Gerd Jürgens' group indicate that auxin transport is mediated by regulated vesicle trafficking, thus encompassing neurotransmitter-like features.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / physiology


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Neurotransmitter Agents