Plant sucrose transporters from a biophysical point of view

Mol Plant. 2011 May;4(3):395-406. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssr029. Epub 2011 Apr 18.


The majority of higher plants use sucrose as their main mobile carbohydrate. Proton-driven sucrose transporters play a crucial role in cell-to-cell and long-distance distribution of sucrose throughout the plant. A very negative plant membrane potential and the ability of sucrose transporters to accumulate sucrose concentrations of more than 1 M indicate that plants evolved transporters with unique structural and functional features. The knowledge about the transport mechanism and structural/functional domains of these nano-machines is, however, still fragmentary. In this review, the current knowledge about the biophysical properties of plant sucrose transporters is summarized and discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Biophysical Phenomena*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Symporters / metabolism


  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Symporters
  • sucrose transport protein, plant