Auxin participates in a multitude of developmental processes, as well as responses to environmental cues. Compared with other plant hormones, auxin exhibits a unique property, as it undergoes directional, cell-to-cell transport facilitated by plasma membrane-localized transport proteins. Among them, a prominent role has been ascribed to the PIN family of auxin efflux facilitators. PIN proteins direct polar auxin transport on account of their asymmetric subcellular localizations. In this review, we provide an overview of the multiple developmental roles of PIN proteins, including the atypical endoplasmic reticulum-localized members of the family, and look at the family from an evolutionary perspective. Next, we cover the cell biological and molecular aspects of PIN function, in particular the establishment of their polar subcellular localization. Hormonal and environmental inputs into the regulation of PIN action are summarized as well.
© 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.