Specific transport of inorganic phosphate, 3-phosphoglycerate and triosephosphates across the inner membrane of the envelope in spinach chloroplasts

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 May 10;502(2):232-47. doi: 10.1016/0005-2728(78)90045-2.


The uptake of phosphate and phosphorylated compounds into the chloroplast stroma has been studied by silicone layer filtering centrifugation. 1. Inorganic phosphate, 3-phosphoglycerate, dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde phosphate are transported across the envelope leading to an accumulation in the chloroplast stroma. This uptake proceeds by a counter exchange with phosphate and phosphorylated compounds present there. 2. The transport shows saturation characteristics allowing the determination of Km and V. 3. The phosphorylated compounds transported act as competitive inhibitors of the transport. From measurements of the Km and Ki the specificity of the transport is described. 4. The transport of inorganic phosphate and 3-phosphoglycerate is inhibited by p-chloromercuriphenyl sulfonate, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate and trinitrobenzene sulfonate. 5. The activation energy of phosphate transport as determined from the temperature dependence is evaluated to be 16 kcal (0--12 degrees C). 6. It is concluded that inorganic phosphate, 3-phosphoglycerate, dihydroxy-acetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde phosphate are transported by the same carrier, which has been nominated phosphate translocator. 7. Simultaneous measurements of the proton concentration in the medium and the transport into the chloroplasts show that the transfer of 3-phosphoglycerate involves a transfer of a proton into the same direction. 8. Measurements of the pH dependence of the transport indicate that all substances including 3-phosphoglycerate are transported by the phosphate translocator as divalent anions. 9. The physiological function of the phosphate translocator is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / ultrastructure
  • Dihydroxyacetone Phosphate / metabolism
  • Glycerophosphates / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Plants
  • Trioses / metabolism*


  • Glycerophosphates
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Phosphates
  • Trioses
  • Dihydroxyacetone Phosphate