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Keywords:

  • facilitated substrate transport;
  • transmembrane protein;
  • gut metabolism;
  • in situ localization;
  • yeast expression system

Abstract

Analysis of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) genome using signatures specific to the Major Facilitator Superfamily (Pfam Clan CL0015) and the Sugar_tr family (Pfam Family PF00083) has identified 54 genes encoding potential sugar transporters, of which 38 have corresponding ESTs. Twenty-nine genes contain the InterPro IPR003663 hexose transporter signature. The protein encoded by Ap_ST3, the most abundantly expressed sugar transporter gene, was functionally characterized by expression as a recombinant protein. Ap_ST3 acts as a low-affinity uniporter for fructose and glucose that does not depend on Na+ or H+ for activity. Ap_ST3 was expressed at elevated levels in distal gut tissue, consistent with a role in gut sugar transport. The A. pisum genome shows evidence of duplications of sugar transporter genes.