Molecular mechanisms of urea transport in plants

S. Kojima, A. Bohner, N. Von Wirén

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Urea is a soil nitrogen form available to plant roots and a secondary nitrogen metabolite liberated in plant cells. Based on growth complementation of yeast mutants and "in-silico analysis", two plant families have been identified and partially characterized that mediate membrane transport of urea in heterologous expression systems. AtDUR3 is a single Arabidopsis gene belonging to the sodium solute symporter family that cotransports urea with protons at high affinity, while members of the tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP) subfamily of aquaporins transport urea in a channel-like manner. The following review summarizes current knowledge on the membrane localization, energetization and regulation of these two types of urea transporters and discusses their possible physiological roles in planta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Ornithine cycle
  • Plasma membrane
  • Sodium solute symporter
  • Tonoplast transport
  • Urease
  • Water channel


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