The P1B-type heavy metal ATPases (HMAs) are diverse in terms of tissue distribution, subcellular localization, and metal specificity. Functional studies of HMAs have shown that these transporters can be divided into two subgroups based on their metal-substrate specificity: a copper (Cu)/silver (Ag) group and a zinc (Zn)/cobalt (Co)/cadmium (Cd)/lead (Pb) group. Studies on Arabidopsis thaliana and metal hyperaccumulator plants indicate that HMAs play an important role in the translocation or detoxification of Zn and Cd in plants. Rice possesses nine HMA genes, of which OsHMA1-OsHMA3 belong to the Zn/Co/ Cd/Pb subgroup. OsHMA2 plays an important role in root-toshoot translocation of Zn and Cd, and participates in Zn and Cd transport to developing seeds in rice. OsHMA3 transports Cd and plays a role in the sequestration of Cd into vacuoles in root cells. Modification of the expression of these genes might be an effective approach for reducing the Cd concentration in rice grains.
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