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Two New Members of CsFEXs Couple Proton Gradients to Export Fluoride and Participate in Reducing Fluoride Accumulation in Low-Fluoride Tea Cultivars

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journal contribution
posted on 29.07.2020, 13:34 by Jiali Song, Congcong Hou, Jiangxin Guo, Qi Niu, Xiaohan Wang, Zhijie Ren, Qian Zhang, Changxin Feng, Liangyu Liu, Wang Tian, Legong Li
The accumulation of fluoride in tea leaves from various cultivars exhibits significant differences. However, the molecular basis and mechanism remain largely unknown. Here, we reported that two genes of CsFEX (fluoride export genes in Camellia sinensis), CsFEX1 and CsFEX2, transport fluoride out of cells, alleviate the cellular fluoride toxin, and rescue the yeast mutant (FEX1ΔFEX2Δ) and Arabidopsis mutant (fex), as their efflux activities are coupled with proton gradients. Further analysis found that CsFEX1 and CsFEX2 localize to the plasma membrane both in yeast and Arabidopsis cells. CsFEX2 is more effective to reduce fluoride toxicity in yeast and Arabidopsis compared with CsFEX1 even at low pH. CsFEX2 induced by fluoride treatment is around tenfold higher in a low-fluoride cultivar (Yunkang 10) than that in a high-fluoride cultivar (Pingyang Tezaocha), suggesting that CsFEX2 possibly plays a critical role in reducing fluoride accumulation in tea leaves.