Table of Contents
Advances in Botany
Volume 2014, Article ID 476917, 9 pages
Review Article

Function and Regulation of the Plant COPT Family of High-Affinity Copper Transport Proteins

Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Avenida Agustín Escardino 7, Paterna, 46980 Valencia, Spain

Received 1 April 2014; Accepted 29 May 2014; Published 21 July 2014

Academic Editor: Tomotsugu Koyama

Copyright © 2014 Sergi Puig. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient for all eukaryotes because it participates as a redox active cofactor in multiple biological processes, including mitochondrial respiration, photosynthesis, oxidative stress protection, and iron (Fe) transport. In eukaryotic cells, Cu transport toward the cytoplasm is mediated by the conserved CTR/COPT family of high-affinity Cu transport proteins. This outlook paper reviews the contribution of our research group to the characterization of the function played by the Arabidopsis thaliana COPT1–6 family of proteins in plant Cu homeostasis. Our studies indicate that the different tissue specificity, Cu-regulated expression, and subcellular localization dictate COPT-specialized contribution to plant Cu transport and distribution. By characterizing lack-of-function Arabidopsis mutant lines, we conclude that COPT1 mediates root Cu acquisition, COPT6 facilitates shoot Cu distribution, and COPT5 mobilizes Cu from storage organelles. Furthermore, our work with copt2 mutant and COPT-overexpressing plants has also uncovered Cu connections with Fe homeostasis and the circadian clock, respectively. Future studies on the interaction between COPT transporters and other components of the Cu homeostasis network will improve our knowledge of plant Cu acquisition, distribution, regulation, and utilization by Cu-proteins.