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Title: Efficiency of cadmium chelation by phytochelatins in Nitzschia palea (Kützing) W. Smith
Author: Figueira, Etelvina
Freitas, Rosa
Guasch, Helena
Almeida, Salomé F. P.
Keywords: Cadmium complexation
Cadmium tolerance
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: Phytochelatins (PCs) are thiol-rich peptides, enzymatically synthesized by plants and algae under exposure to certain metals (Cd, Pb, Zn, Ag, As, Cu). Due to their ability to bind metal ions, they play an important role in the cellular detoxification, forming stable metal-PC complexes that minimize the intracellular deleterious effects of metals. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the efficiency of PC-Cd chelation in the freshwater diatom Nitzschia palea under 0, 0.1 and 0.2 mg Cd L(-1), which induced different levels of oxidative stress. This objective was accomplished by the isolation of PC-Cd complexes through size exclusion chromatography. Two peaks were identified, corresponding to high molecular weight (HMW) and low molecular weight (LMW) complexes. In each of the complexes, Cd was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, thiol composition was determined by HPLC analysis and the efficiency of Cd chelation calculated by -SH/Cd ratios in HMW and LMW complexes at both Cd concentrations. Results showed that the majority of intracellular Cd was complexed with PCs (75.2-91.2 %). PCs-binding efficiency in this diatom species was higher at HMW than at LMW complexes and enhanced with the increase of Cd concentration exposure. Our work evidenced the important role of PCs as the main intracellular tolerance mechanism in this species. The efficiency increase of Cd-PC binding is related to the increment of PCs synthesis and to the number of Cd ions coordinately bonded to -SH groups in LMW and HMW complexes.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1007/s10646-013-1172-8
ISSN: 0963-9292
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