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Open AccessArticle

The Interplay between Toxic and Essential Metals for Their Uptake and Translocation Is Likely Governed by DNA Methylation and Histone Deacetylation in Maize

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A5B8, Canada
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, University Road, tobe Camp, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
3
Department of Biotechnology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, University Road, Tobe Camp, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
4
Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A5B8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186959
Received: 26 August 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 22 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Stress and Plants)
The persistent nature of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in the environment severely affects plant growth and yield. Conversely, plants acquire zinc (Zn) from the soil for their vital physiological and biochemical functions. However, the interplay and coordination between essential and toxic metals for their uptake and translocation and the putative underlying epigenetic mechanisms have not yet been investigated in maize. Here, we report that the presence of Zn facilitates the accumulation and transport of Pb and Cd in the aerial parts of the maize plants. Moreover, the Zn, Pb, and Cd interplay specifically interferes with the uptake and translocation of other divalent metals, such as calcium and magnesium. Zn, Pb, and Cd, individually and in combinations, differentially regulate the expression of DNA methyltransferases, thus alter the DNA methylation levels at the promoter of Zinc-regulated transporters, Iron-regulated transporter-like Protein (ZIP) genes to regulate their expression. Furthermore, the expression of histone deacetylases (HDACs) varies greatly in response to individual and combined metals, and HDACs expression showed a negative correlation with ZIP transporters. Our study highlights the implication of DNA methylation and histone acetylation in regulating the metal stress tolerance dynamics through Zn transporters and warns against the excessive use of Zn fertilizers in metal contaminated soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytotoxcity; heavy metals interplay; Zn transporters (ZIP); DNA methylation; histone deacetylases; maize phytotoxcity; heavy metals interplay; Zn transporters (ZIP); DNA methylation; histone deacetylases; maize
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shafiq, S.; Ali, A.; Sajjad, Y.; Zeb, Q.; Shahzad, M.; Khan, A.R.; Nazir, R.; Widemann, E. The Interplay between Toxic and Essential Metals for Their Uptake and Translocation Is Likely Governed by DNA Methylation and Histone Deacetylation in Maize. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 6959. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186959

AMA Style

Shafiq S, Ali A, Sajjad Y, Zeb Q, Shahzad M, Khan AR, Nazir R, Widemann E. The Interplay between Toxic and Essential Metals for Their Uptake and Translocation Is Likely Governed by DNA Methylation and Histone Deacetylation in Maize. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(18):6959. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186959

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shafiq, Sarfraz; Ali, Asim; Sajjad, Yasar; Zeb, Qudsia; Shahzad, Muhammad; Khan, Abdul R.; Nazir, Rashid; Widemann, Emilie. 2020. "The Interplay between Toxic and Essential Metals for Their Uptake and Translocation Is Likely Governed by DNA Methylation and Histone Deacetylation in Maize" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 18: 6959. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186959

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