Post-translational regulation of sucrose transporters represents one possibility to adapt transporter activity in a very short time frame. This can occur either via phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, oligomerization, protein–protein interactions, endocytosis/exocytosis, or degradation. It is also known that StSUT1 can change its compartmentalization at the plasma membrane and concentrate in membrane microdomains in response to changing redox conditions. A systematic screen for protein–protein-interactions of plant sucrose transporters revealed that the interactome of all three known sucrose transporters from the Solanaceous species Solanum tuberosum
and Solanum lycopersicum
represents a specific subset of interaction partners, suggesting different functions for the three different sucrose transporters. Here, we focus on factors that affect the subcellular distribution of the transporters. It was already known that sucrose transporters are able to form homo- as well as heterodimers. Here, we reveal the consequences of homo- and heterodimer formation and the fact that the responses of individual sucrose transporters will respond differently. Sucrose transporter SlSUT2 is mainly found in intracellular vesicles and several of its interaction partners are involved in vesicle traffic and subcellular targeting. The impact of interaction partners such as SNARE/VAMP proteins on the localization of SlSUT2 protein will be investigated, as well as the impact of inhibitors, excess of substrate, or divalent cations which are known to inhibit SUT1-mediated sucrose transport in yeast cells. Thereby we are able to identify factors regulating sucrose transporter activity via a change of their subcellular distribution.
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