Towards closing the remaining gaps in photorespiration – the essential but unexplored role of transport proteins



Andreas P.M. Weber, Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Center of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), Heinrich-Heine-University, Universitätsstraße 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.



Photorespiration is an essential prerequisite for all autotrophic organisms performing oxygenic photosynthesis. In contrast to the well-characterised enzymes accomplishing photorespiratory metabolism, current knowledge on the involved transport processes and the respective proteins is still quite limited. In this review, we focus on the status quo of translocators involved in photorespiratory metabolism. Although the transport of some of the photorespiratory intermediates could be characterised biochemically, using isolated organelles, the genes encoding these transporters have to date not been identified in most cases. Here, we describe the postulated transport processes, present information on established or hypothetical photorespiratory transporters, depict strategies on how to identify the transport proteins on the molecular level and, finally, discuss strategies for how to find the remaining candidates.