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Amino Acid Transporters and Release of Hydrophobic Amino Acids in the Heterocyst-Forming Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120

Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad de Sevilla, Américo Vespucio 49, E-41092 Seville, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John C. Meeks and Robert Haselkorn
Life 2015, 5(2), 1282-1300;
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 23 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
PDF [1231 KB, uploaded 27 April 2015]


Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is a filamentous cyanobacterium that can use inorganic compounds such as nitrate or ammonium as nitrogen sources. In the absence of combined nitrogen, it can fix N2 in differentiated cells called heterocysts. Anabaena also shows substantial activities of amino acid uptake, and three ABC-type transporters for amino acids have been previously characterized. Seven new loci encoding predicted amino acid transporters were identified in the Anabaena genomic sequence and inactivated. Two of them were involved in amino acid uptake. Locus alr2535-alr2541 encodes the elements of a hydrophobic amino acid ABC-type transporter that is mainly involved in the uptake of glycine. ORF all0342 encodes a putative transporter from the dicarboxylate/amino acid:cation symporter (DAACS) family whose inactivation resulted in an increased uptake of a broad range of amino acids. An assay to study amino acid release from Anabaena filaments to the external medium was set up. Net release of the alanine analogue α-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) was observed when transport system N-I (a hydrophobic amino acid ABC-type transporter) was engaged in the uptake of a specific substrate. The rate of AIB release was directly proportional to the intracellular AIB concentration, suggesting leakage from the cells by diffusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: ABC-type transporters; amino acid diffusion; cyanobacteria; membrane transport ABC-type transporters; amino acid diffusion; cyanobacteria; membrane transport

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Pernil, R.; Picossi, S.; Herrero, A.; Flores, E.; Mariscal, V. Amino Acid Transporters and Release of Hydrophobic Amino Acids in the Heterocyst-Forming Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120. Life 2015, 5, 1282-1300.

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