2.A.84 The Chloroplast Maltose Exporter (MEX) Family
The MEX family includes just one functionally characterized protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, the MEX1 protein (Niittylä et al., 2004). It is synthesized as a precursor and processed to give the mature protein. The protein has 415 aas with an N-terminal hydrophilic domain of about 120 residues followed by the hydrophobic domain with 9-10 putative TMSs. It is essential for the conversion of starch to sucrose in Arabidopsis leaves at night and catalyzed the predominant route of carbohydrate export from chloroplasts at night. Members of the family are only found in plants (e.g., rice and potatoes). Mutants of A. thaliana lacking the MEX1 protein grow poorly and have a reduced chlorophyll content.
The reaction catalyzed by MEX1 is:
maltose (in the chloroplast) → maltose (cytoplasm).