The compartmentalization of PAPS (the sulfate donor 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate) synthesis (mainly in plastids), PAPS consumption (in the cytosol), and PAP (the stress signaling molecule 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate) degradation (in plastids and mitochondria) requires organellar transport systems for both PAPS and PAP. The plastidial transporter PAPST1 (PAPS TRANSPORTER1) delivers newly synthesized PAPS from the stroma to the cytosol. We investigated the activity of PAPST2, the closest homolog of PAPST1, which unlike PAPST1 is targeted to both the plastids and mitochondria. Biochemical characterization in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that PAPST2 mediates the antiport of PAP, PAPS, ATP, and ADP. Strongly increased cellular PAP levels negatively affect plant growth, as observed in the fry1 papst2 mutant, which lacks the PAP-catabolizing enzyme SALT TOLERANCE 1 and PAPST2. PAP levels were specifically elevated in the cytosol of papst2 and fiery1 papst2, but not in papst1 or fry1 papst1. PAPST1 failed to complement the papst2 mutant phenotype in mitochondria, because it likely removes PAPS from the cell, as demonstrated by the increased expression of phytosulfokine genes. Overexpression of SAL1 in mitochondria rescued the phenotype of fry1 but not fry1 papst2. Therefore, PAPST2 represents an important organellar importer of PAP, providing a piece of the puzzle in our understanding of the organelle-to-nucleus PAP retrograde signaling pathway.

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