Mutual Interactions between Aquaporins and Membrane Components

  • Martínez-Ballesta M
  • Carvajal M
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� 2016 Mart�nez-Ballesta and Carvajal. In recent years, a number of studies have been focused on the structural evaluation of protein complexes in order to get mechanistic insights into how proteins communicate at the molecular level within the cell. Specific sites of protein-aquaporin interaction have been evaluated and new forms of regulation of aquaporins described, based on these associations. Heterotetramerizations of aquaporin isoforms are considered as novel regulatory mechanisms for plasma membrane (PIPs) and tonoplast (TIPs) proteins, influencing their intrinsic permeability and trafficking dynamics in the adaptive response to changing environmental conditions. However, protein-protein interaction is an extensive theme that is difficult to tackle and new methodologies are being used to study the physical interactions involved. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation and the identification of cross-linked peptides based on tandem mass spectra, that are complementary to other methodologies such as heterologous expression, coprecipitation assays or confocal fluorescence microscopy, are discussed in this review. The chemical composition and the physical characteristics of the lipid bilayer also influence many aspects of membrane aquaporins, including their functionality. The molecular driving forces stabilizing the positions of the lipids around aquaporins could define their activity, thereby altering the conformational properties. Therefore, an integrative approach to the relevance of the membrane-aquaporin interaction to different processes related to plant cell physiology is provided. Finally, it is described how the interactions between aquaporins and copolymer matrixes or biological compounds offer an opportunity for the functional incorporation of aquaporins into new biotechnological advances.




Martínez-Ballesta, M. del C., & Carvajal, M. (2016). Mutual Interactions between Aquaporins and Membrane Components. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7.

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