Aquaporins are water channel proteins that mediate the fine-tuning of cell membrane water permeability during development or in response to environmental stresses. The present work focuses on the oxidative stress-induced redistribution of plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) aquaporins from the plasma membrane (PM) to intracellular membranes. This process was investigated in the Arabidopsis root. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed that exposure of roots to 0.5 mM H2O2 induces significant depletion in PM fractions of several abundant PIP homologs after 15 min. Analyses by single-particle tracking and fluorescence correlative spectroscopy showed that, in the PM of epidermal cells, H2O2 treatment induces an increase in lateral motion and a reduction in the density of a fluorescently tagged form of the prototypal AtPIP2;1 isoform, respectively. Co-expression analyses of AtPIP2;1 with endomembrane markers revealed that H2O2 triggers AtPIP2;1 accumulation in the late endosomal compartments. Life-time analyses established that the high stability of PIPs was maintained under oxidative stress conditions, suggesting that H2O2 triggers a mechanism for intracellular sequestration of PM aquaporins without further degradation. In addition to information on cellular regulation of aquaporins, this study provides novel and complementary insights into the dynamic remodeling of plant internal membranes during oxidative stress responses.
Keywords: Arabidopsis; aquaporin; reactive oxygen species; root; stress.
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