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Extreme metal adapted, knockout and knockdown strains reveal a coordinated gene expression among different Tetrahymena thermophila metallothionein isoforms

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Francisco Martínez, Patricia de and Martín González, Ana María and Turkewitz, Aaron P. and Gutiérrez Fernández, Juan Carlos (2017) Extreme metal adapted, knockout and knockdown strains reveal a coordinated gene expression among different Tetrahymena thermophila metallothionein isoforms. PLoS ONE . ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Metallothioneins (MT) constitute a superfamily of small cytosolic proteins that are able to bind metal cations through numerous cysteine (Cys) residues. Like other organisms the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila presents several MT isoforms, which have been classified into two subfamilies (Cd- and Cu-metallothioneins). The main aim of this study was to examine the specific functions and transcriptional regulation of the five MT isoforms present in T. thermophila, by using several strains of this ciliate. After a laboratory evolution experiment over more than two years, three different T. thermophila strains adapted to extreme metal stress (Cd2+, Cu2+ or Pb2+) were obtained. In addition, three knockout and/or knockdown strains for different metallothionein (MT) genes were generated. These strains were then analyzed for expression of the individual MT isoforms. Our results provide a strong basis for assigning differential roles to the set of MT isoforms. MTT1 appears to have a key role in adaptation to Cd. In contrast, MTT2/4 are crucial for Cu-adaptation and MTT5 appears to be important for Pb-adaptation and might be considered as an “alarm” MT gene for responding to metal stress. Moreover, results indicate that likely a coordinated transcriptional regulation exists between the MT genes, particularly among MTT1, MTT5 and MTT2/4. MTT5 appears to be an essential gene, a first such report in any organism of an essential MT gene.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:cytosolic proteins; Tetrahymena thermophila; MT genes
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Microbiology
ID Code:46739
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 15:51
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:30

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