Table of Contents
International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2009, Article ID 848145, 8 pages
Research Article

Heterologous Expression of a Membrane-Spanning Auxin Importer: Implications for Functional Analyses of Auxin Transporters

1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
2School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leics LE12 5RD, UK

Received 22 January 2009; Revised 9 March 2009; Accepted 27 April 2009

Academic Editor: Hikmet Budak

Copyright © 2009 David John Carrier et al. 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.


Biochemical studies of plant auxin transporters in vivo are made difficult by the presence of multiple auxin transporters and auxin-interacting proteins. Furthermore, the expression level of most such transporters in plants is likely to be too low for purification and downstream functional analysis. Heterologous expression systems should address both of these issues. We have examined a number of such systems for their efficiency in expressing AUX1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. We find that a eukaryotic system based upon infection of insect cells with recombinant baculovirus provides a high level, easily scalable expression system capable of delivering a functional assay for AUX1. Furthermore, a transient transfection system in mammalian cells enables localization of AUX1 and AUX1-mediated transport of auxin to be investigated. In contrast, we were unable to utilise P. pastoris or L. lactis expression systems to reliably express AUX1.