Moonlighting Arabidopsis molybdate transporter 2 family and GSH-complex formation facilitate molybdenum homeostasis.
Molybdenum (Mo) as essential micronutrient for plants, acts as active component of molybdenum cofactor (Moco). Core metabolic processes like nitrate assimilation or abscisic-acid biosynthesis rely on Moco-dependent enzymes. Although a family of molybdate transport proteins (MOT1) is known to date in Arabidopsis, molybdate homeostasis remained unclear. Here we report a second family of molybdate transporters (MOT2) playing key roles in molybdate distribution and usage. KO phenotype-analyses, cellular and organ-specific localization, and connection to Moco-biosynthesis enzymes via protein-protein interaction suggest involvement in cellular import of molybdate in leaves and reproductive organs. Furthermore, we detected a glutathione-molybdate complex, which reveals how vacuolar storage is maintained. A putative Golgi S-adenosyl-methionine transport function was reported recently for the MOT2-family. Here, we propose a moonlighting function, since clear evidence of molybdate transport was found in a yeast-system. Our characterization of the MOT2-family and the detection of a glutathione-molybdate complex unveil the plant-wide way of molybdate.