The disaccharide sucrose and the cleavage products glucose and fructose are the central molecules for carbohydrate translocation, metabolism and sensing in higher plants. Invertases mediate the hydrolytic cleavage of sucrose into the hexose monomers. Plants possess three types of invertases, which are located in the apoplast, the cytoplasm and the vacuole, respectively. It has become evident that extracellular and vacuolar invertase isoenzymes are key metabolic enzymes that are involved in various aspects of the plant life cycle and the response of the plant to environmental stimuli because their substrates and reaction products are both nutrients and signal molecules. Invertases, alone or in combination with plant hormones, can regulate many aspects of the growth and development of plants from gene expression to long-distance nutrient allocation and are involved in regulating carbohydrate partitioning, developmental processes, hormone responses and biotic and abiotic interactions.
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