SUT2, a putative sucrose sensor in sieve elements

Laurence Barker, Christina Kühn, Andreas Weise, Alexander Schulz, Christiane Gebhardt, Brigitte Hirner, Hanjo Hellmann, Waltraud Schulze, John M. Ward, Wolf B. Frommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


In leaves, sucrose uptake kinetics involve high- and low-affinity components. A family of low- and high-affinity sucrose transporters (SUT) was identified. SUT1 serves as a high-affinity transporter essential for phloem loading and long-distance transport in solanaceous species. SUT4 is a low-affinity transporter with an expression pattern overlapping that of SUT1. Both SUT1 and SUT4 localize to enucleate sieve elements of tomato. New sucrose transporter-like proteins, named SUT2, from tomato and Arabidopsis contain extended cytoplasmic domains, thus structurally resembling the yeast sugar sensors SNF3 and RGT2. Features common to these sensors are low codon bias, environment of the start codon, low expression, and lack of detectable transport activity. In contrast to LeSUT1, which is induced during the sink-to-source transition of leaves, SUT2 is more highly expressed in sink than in source leaves and is inducible by sucrose. LeSUT2 protein colocalizes with the low- and high-affinity sucrose transporters in sieve elements of tomato petioles, indicating that multiple SUT mRNAs or proteins travel from companion cells to enucleate sieve elements. The SUT2 gene maps on chromosome V of potato and is linked to a major quantitative trait locus for tuber starch content and yield. Thus, the putative sugar SenSor identified colocalizes with two other sucrose transporters, differs from them in kinetic properties, and potentially regulates the relative activity of low- and high-affinity sucrose transport into sieve elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1164
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000


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