Structure and expression profile of the Arabidopsis PHO1 gene family indicates a broad role in inorganic phosphate homeostasis

Plant Physiol. 2004 May;135(1):400-11. doi: 10.1104/pp.103.037945. Epub 2004 Apr 30.


PHO1 has been recently identified as a protein involved in the loading of inorganic phosphate into the xylem of roots in Arabidopsis. The genome of Arabidopsis contains 11 members of the PHO1 gene family. The cDNAs of all PHO1 homologs have been cloned and sequenced. All proteins have the same topology and harbor a SPX tripartite domain in the N-terminal hydrophilic portion and an EXS domain in the C-terminal hydrophobic portion. The SPX and EXS domains have been identified in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) proteins involved in either phosphate transport or sensing or in sorting proteins to endomembranes. The Arabidopsis genome contains additional proteins of unknown function containing either a SPX or an EXS domain. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the PHO1 family is subdivided into at least three clusters. Reverse transcription-PCR revealed a broad pattern of expression in leaves, roots, stems, and flowers for most genes, although two genes are expressed exclusively in flowers. Analysis of the activity of the promoter of all PHO1 homologs using promoter-beta-glucuronidase fusions revealed a predominant expression in the vascular tissues of roots, leaves, stems, or flowers. beta-Glucuronidase expression is also detected for several promoters in nonvascular tissue, including hydathodes, trichomes, root tip, root cortical/epidermal cells, and pollen grains. The expression pattern of PHO1 homologs indicates a likely role of the PHO1 proteins not only in the transfer of phosphate to the vascular cylinder of various tissues but also in the acquisition of phosphate into cells, such as pollen or root epidermal/cortical cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Homeostasis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • PHO1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Phosphates
  • extrasporogenous cells protein, Arabidopsis
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY507953
  • GENBANK/AY507954
  • GENBANK/AY507955
  • GENBANK/AY507956
  • GENBANK/AY507957
  • GENBANK/AY507958
  • GENBANK/AY507959
  • GENBANK/AY507960
  • GENBANK/AY507961
  • GENBANK/AY507962