Overexpression of Arabidopsis phytochelatin synthase paradoxically leads to hypersensitivity to cadmium stress

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Title
Overexpression of Arabidopsis phytochelatin synthase paradoxically leads to hypersensitivity to cadmium stress
Author(s)
S M Lee; Jae Sun Moon; T S Ko; D Petros; P B Goldsbrough; S S Korban
Bibliographic Citation
Plant Physiology, vol. 131, no. 2, pp. 656-663
Publication Year
2003
Abstract
Phytochelatin (PC) plays an important role in heavy metal detoxification in plants and other living organisms. Therefore, we overexpressed an Arabidopsis PC synthase (AtPCS1) in transgenic Arabidopsis with the goal of increasing PC synthesis, metal accumulation, and metal tolerance in these plants. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants were selected, designated pcs lines, and analyzed for tolerance to cadmium (Cd). Transgenic pcs lines showed 12- to 25-fold higher accumulation of AtPCS1 mRNA, and production of PCs increased by 1.3- to 2.1-fold under 85 μM CdCl2 stress for 3 d when compared with wild-type plants. Cd tolerance was assessed by measuring root length of plants grown on agar medium containing 50 or 85 μM CdCl2. Pcs lines paradoxically showed hypersensitivity to Cd stress. This hypersensitivity was also observed for zinc (Zn) but not for copper (Cu). The overexpressed AtPCS1 protein itself was not responsible for Cd hypersensitivity as transgenic cad1-3 mutants overexpressing AtPCS1 to similar levels as those of pcs lines were not hypersensitive to Cd. Pcs lines were more sensitive to Cd than a PC-deficient Arabidopsis mutant, cad1-3, grown under low glutathione (GSH) levels. Cd hypersensitivity of pcs lines disappeared under increased GSH levels supplemented in the medium. Therefore, Cd hypersensitivity in pcs lines seems due to the toxicity of PCs as they existed at supraoptimal levels when compared with GSH levels.
ISSN
0032-0889
Publisher
Amer Soc Plant Biologists
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.014118
Type
Article
Appears in Collections:
Division of Research on National Challenges > Plant Systems Engineering Research > 1. Journal Articles
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