Activity of tonoplast proton pumps and Na +/H + exchange in potato cell cultures is modulated by salt

Filipa Queirós, Natacha Fontes, Paulo Silva, Domingos Almeida, Masayoshi Maeshima, Hernâni Gerós*, Fernanda Fidalgo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The efficient exclusion of excess Na from the cytoplasm and vacuolar Na + accumulation are the main mechanisms for the adaptation of plants to salt stress. This is typically carried out by transmembrane transport proteins that exclude Na + from the cytosol in exchange for H +, a secondary transport process which is energy-dependent and driven by the proton-motive force generated by plasma-membrane and tonoplast proton pumps. Tonoplast enriched-vesicles from control and 150 mM NaCl-tolerant calli lines were used as a model system to study the activity of V-H +-PPase and V-H +-ATPase and the involvement of Na + compartmentalization into the vacuole as a mechanism of salt tolerance in Solanum tuberosum. Both ATP- and pyrophosphate (PPi)-dependent H +-transport were higher in tonoplast vesicles from the salt-tolerant line than in vesicles from control cells. Western blotting of tonoplast proteins confirmed that changes in V-H +-PPase activity are correlated with increased protein amount. Conversely, immunodetection of the A-subunit of V-H +-ATPase revealed that a mechanism of post-translational regulation is probably involved. Na +-dependent dissipation of a pre-established pH gradient was used to measure Na +/H + exchange in tonoplast vesicles. The initial rates of proton efflux followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics and the Vmax of proton dissipation was 2-fold higher in NaCl-tolerant calli when compared to the control. H +-coupled exchange was specific for Na + and Li + and not for K +. The increase of both the pH gradient across the tonoplast and the Na +/H + antiport activity in response to salt strongly suggests that Na + sequestration into the vacuole contributes to salt tolerance in potato.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1374
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Callus tissue
  • Potato
  • Proton transport
  • Salt tolerance
  • Tonoplast vesicles
  • Vacuolar H -ATPase
  • Vacuolar H -pyrophosphatase
  • Vacuolar Na /H antiporter


Dive into the research topics of 'Activity of tonoplast proton pumps and Na +/H + exchange in potato cell cultures is modulated by salt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this