Calcium (Ca(2)+) efflux from the cytosol modulates Ca(2+) concentrations in the cytosol, loads Ca(2+) into intracellular compartments, and supplies Ca(2+) to organelles to support biochemical functions. The Ca(2+)/H(+) antiporter CAX1 (for CALCIUM EXCHANGER 1) of Arabidopsis is thought to be a key mediator of these processes. To clarify the regulation of CAX1, we examined CAX1 RNA expression in response to various stimuli. CAX1 was highly expressed in response to exogenous Ca(2+). Transgenic tobacco plants expressing CAX1 displayed symptoms of Ca(2+) deficiencies, including hypersensitivity to ion imbalances, such as increased magnesium and potassium concentrations, and to cold shock, but increasing the Ca(2+) in the media abrogated these sensitivities. Tobacco plants expressing CAX1 also demonstrated increased Ca(2+) accumulation and altered activity of the tonoplast-enriched Ca(2+)/H(+) antiporter. These results emphasize that regulated expression of Ca(2+)/H(+) antiport activity is critical for normal growth and adaptation to certain stresses.
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