Ho-Yin Leung

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (4)28.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis are crucial for plant growth and development. Two HKT transporter/channel classes have been characterized that mediate either Na(+) transport or Na(+) and K(+) transport when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and yeast. However, the Na(+)/K(+) selectivities of the K(+)-permeable HKT transporters have not yet been studied in plant cells. One study expressing 5' untranslated region-modified HKT constructs in yeast has questioned the relevance of cation selectivities found in heterologous systems for selectivity predictions in plant cells. Therefore, here we analyze two highly homologous rice (Oryza sativa) HKT transporters in plant cells, OsHKT2;1 and OsHKT2;2, that show differential K(+) permeabilities in heterologous systems. Upon stable expression in cultured tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) Bright-Yellow 2 cells, OsHKT2;1 mediated Na(+) uptake, but little Rb(+) uptake, consistent with earlier studies and new findings presented here in oocytes. In contrast, OsHKT2;2 mediated Na(+)-K(+) cotransport in plant cells such that extracellular K(+) stimulated OsHKT2;2-mediated Na(+) influx and vice versa. Furthermore, at millimolar Na(+) concentrations, OsHKT2;2 mediated Na(+) influx into plant cells without adding extracellular K(+). This study shows that the Na(+)/K(+) selectivities of these HKT transporters in plant cells coincide closely with the selectivities in oocytes and yeast. In addition, the presence of external K(+) and Ca(2+) down-regulated OsHKT2;1-mediated Na(+) influx in two plant systems, Bright-Yellow 2 cells and intact rice roots, and also in Xenopus oocytes. Moreover, OsHKT transporter selectivities in plant cells are shown to depend on the imposed cationic conditions, supporting the model that HKT transporters are multi-ion pores.
    Plant physiology 11/2009; 152(1):341-55. DOI:10.1104/pp.109.145722 · 6.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive accumulation of sodium in plants causes toxicity. No mutation that greatly diminishes sodium (Na+) influx into plant roots has been isolated. The OsHKT2;1 (previously named OsHKT1) transporter from rice functions as a relatively Na+-selective transporter in heterologous expression systems, but the in vivo function of OsHKT2;1 remains unknown. Here, we analyzed transposon-insertion rice lines disrupted in OsHKT2;1. Interestingly, three independent oshkt2;1-null alleles exhibited significantly reduced growth compared with wild-type plants under low Na+ and K+ starvation conditions. The mutant alleles accumulated less Na+, but not less K+, in roots and shoots. OsHKT2;1 was mainly expressed in the cortex and endodermis of roots. (22)Na+ tracer influx experiments revealed that Na+ influx into oshkt2;1-null roots was dramatically reduced compared with wild-type plants. A rapid repression of OsHKT2;1-mediated Na+ influx and mRNA reduction were found when wild-type plants were exposed to 30 mM NaCl. These analyses demonstrate that Na+ can enhance growth of rice under K+ starvation conditions, and that OsHKT2;1 is the central transporter for nutritional Na+ uptake into K+-starved rice roots.
    The EMBO Journal 07/2007; 26(12):3003-14. DOI:10.1038/sj.emboj.7601732 · 10.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T-DNA disruption mutations in the AtHKT1 gene have previously been shown to suppress the salt sensitivity of the sos3 mutant. However, both sos3 and athkt1 single mutants show sodium (Na+) hypersensitivity. In the present study we further analyzed the underlying mechanisms for these non-additive and counteracting Na+ sensitivities by characterizing athkt1-1 sos3 and athkt1-2 sos3 double mutant plants. Unexpectedly, mature double mutant plants grown in soil clearly showed an increased Na+ hypersensitivity compared with wild-type plants when plants were subjected to salinity stress. The salt sensitive phenotype of athkt1 sos3 double mutant plants was similar to that of athkt1 plants, which showed chlorosis in leaves and stems. The Na+ content in xylem sap samples of soil-grown athkt1 sos3 double and athkt1 single mutant plants showed dramatic Na+ overaccumulation in response to salinity stress. Salinity stress analyses using basic minimal nutrient medium and Murashige-Skoog (MS) medium revealed that athkt1 sos3 double mutant plants show a more athkt1 single mutant-like phenotype in the presence of 3 mM external Ca2+, but show a more sos3 single mutant-like phenotype in the presence of 1 mM external Ca2+. Taken together multiple analyses demonstrate that the external Ca2+ concentration strongly impacts the Na+ stress response of athkt1 sos3 double mutants. Furthermore, the presented findings show that SOS3 and AtHKT1 are physiologically distinct major determinants of salinity resistance such that sos3 more strongly causes Na+ overaccumulation in roots, whereas athkt1 causes an increase in Na+ levels in the xylem sap and shoots and a concomitant Na+ reduction in roots.
    Plant and Cell Physiology 06/2006; 47(5):622-33. DOI:10.1093/pcp/pcj029 · 4.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AtHKT1 is a sodium (Na+) transporter that functions in mediating tolerance to salt stress. To investigate the membrane targeting of AtHKT1 and its expression at the translational level, antibodies were generated against peptides corresponding to the first pore of AtHKT1. Immunoelectron microscopy studies using anti-AtHKT1 antibodies demonstrate that AtHKT1 is targeted to the plasma membrane in xylem parenchyma cells in leaves. AtHKT1 expression in xylem parenchyma cells was also confirmed by AtHKT1 promoter-GUS reporter gene analyses. Interestingly, AtHKT1 disruption alleles caused large increases in the Na+ content of the xylem sap and conversely reduced the Na+ content of the phloem sap. The athkt1 mutant alleles had a smaller and inverse influence on the potassium (K+) content compared with the Na+ content of the xylem, suggesting that K+ transport may be indirectly affected. The expression of AtHKT1 was modulated not only by the concentrations of Na+ and K+ but also by the osmolality of non-ionic compounds. These findings show that AtHKT1 selectively unloads sodium directly from xylem vessels to xylem parenchyma cells. AtHKT1 mediates osmolality balance between xylem vessels and xylem parenchyma cells under saline conditions. Thus AtHKT1 reduces the sodium content in xylem vessels and leaves, thereby playing a central role in protecting plant leaves from salinity stress.
    The Plant Journal 01/2006; 44(6):928-38. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02595.x · 5.97 Impact Factor