A directly energized vacuolar pump for glutathione (GS) conjugates has been described for several plant species. Since glucuronate conjugates also occur in plants, we addressed the question whether plant vacuoles take up the abiotic glucuronate conjugate estradiol 17-(beta-glucuronide) (E217G) via a GS conjugate pump, which in some cases has been reported to accept various organic anions as substrates, or via a distinct glucuronate transporter. Uptake studies into vacuoles from rye and barley were performed with E217G and metolachlor-GS (MOC-GS), a substrate of the GS conjugate ATPase, to compare glucuronate conjugate transport into vacuoles containing endogenous flavone glucuronides with those lacking specific glucuronate conjugates, respectively. Our results indicate that E217G and MOC-GS are taken up into vacuoles of both plants via a directly energized mechanism since transport was (i) strictly ATP-dependent; (ii) inhibited by vanadate but not by bafilomycin A1, azide, verapamil, nor by dissipation of the vacuolar DeltapH or DeltaPsi; (iii) E217G uptake into rye vacuoles was partially driven by other nucleotides in the following order of efficiency: ATP > GTP > UTP congruent with CTP, whereas the non-hydrolyzable ATP analogue 5'-adenylyl-beta,gamma-imidodiphosphate, ADP, or PPi did not energize uptake. E217G transport into rye vacuoles was saturable (Km approximately 0.2 mM). The rye-specific luteolin glucuronides decreased uptake rates of E217G and MOC-GS into rye and barley vacuoles to comparable degrees with the mono- and diglucuronidated derivatives (40-60% inhibition) being more effective than the triglucuronide. Inhibition of E217G uptake by luteolin 7-O-diglucuronide was competitive (Ki = 120 microM). Taurocholate had no effect on E217G transport, and uptake of MOC-GS was not inhibited by E217G. Although GS conjugates and oxidized GS decreased MOC-GS transport, E217G uptake into rye and barley vacuoles was stimulated up to 7-fold in a concentration-dependent manner by these substances, with dinitrobenzene-GS being most effective. The stimulation of the GS conjugates was not due to detergent or redox effects and was specific for the E217G pump. GS conjugate stimulation of glucuronate uptake was unique for plants as E217G uptake into yeast microsomal vesicles was not affected. By comparison with a DeltaYCF1 yeast mutant, defective in vacuolar transport of GS conjugates mediated by YCF1, it was shown that E217G was taken up into yeast vesicles via a YCF1-independent directly energized pump. These results indicate that E217G as a glucuronate conjugate is transported across the vacuolar membranes of plants and yeast by a carrier distinct from the GS conjugate ATPase.
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