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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(8), 3269-3282; doi:10.3390/ijms10083269
Article

Characterization of the Sesbania rostrata Phytochelatin Synthase Gene: Alternative Splicing and Function of Four Isoforms

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1 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China 2 Laboratory of Molecular Breeding of Energy Plants, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, Yunnan, China 3 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China 4 School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China # These authors contributed equally to this work
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2009 / Revised: 7 July 2009 / Accepted: 17 July 2009 / Published: 24 July 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotic and Abiotic Stress)
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Abstract

Phytochelatins (PCs) play an important role in detoxification of heavy metals in plants. PCs are synthesized from glutathione by phytochelatin synthase (PCS), a dipeptidyltransferase. Sesbania rostrata is a tropical legume plant that can tolerate high concentrations of Cd and Zn. In this study, the S. rostrata PCS gene (SrPCS) and cDNAs were isolated and characterized. Southern blot and sequence analysis revealed that a single copy of the SrPCS gene occurs in the S. rostrata genome, and produces four different SrPCS mRNAs and proteins, SrPCS1-SrPCS4, by alternative splicing of the SrPCS pre-mRNA. The SrPCS1 and SrPCS3 proteins conferred Cd tolerance when expressed in yeast cells, whereas the SrPCS2 and SrPCS4 proteins, which lack the catalytic triad and the N-terminal domains, did not. These results suggested that SrPCS1 and SrPCS3 have potential applications in genetic engineering of plants for enhancing heavy metal tolerance and phytoremediation of contaminated soils.
Keywords: alternative splicing; heavy metal tolerance; phytochelatin; phytochelatin synthase; phytoremediation; Sesbania rostrata alternative splicing; heavy metal tolerance; phytochelatin; phytochelatin synthase; phytoremediation; Sesbania rostrata
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Li, A.-M.; Yu, B.-Y.; Chen, F.-H.; Gan, H.-Y.; Yuan, J.-G.; Qiu, R.; Huang, J.-C.; Yang, Z.-Y.; Xu, Z.-F. Characterization of the Sesbania rostrata Phytochelatin Synthase Gene: Alternative Splicing and Function of Four Isoforms. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 3269-3282.

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