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Erratum published on 12 January 2017, see Genes 2017, 8(1), 29.

Open AccessArticle
Genes 2016, 7(12), 106;

Cucumber Metallothionein-Like 2 (CsMTL2) Exhibits Metal-Binding Properties

Key Laboratory of Horticulture Science for Southern Mountainous Regions, Ministry of Education, College of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Southwest University, No. 2 Tiansheng Road, Beibei, Chongqing 400715, China
Qijiang District Bureau of Forestry, Chongqing 401420, China
Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chongqing Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chongqing 401329, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Cinelli
Received: 21 August 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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We identified a novel member of the metallothionein (MT) family, Cucumis sativus metallothionein-like 2 (CsMTL2), by screening a young cucumber fruit complementary DNA (cDNA) library. The CsMTL2 encodes a putative 77-amino acid Class II MT protein that contains two cysteine (Cys)-rich domains separated by a Cys-free spacer region. We found that CsMTL2 expression was regulated by metal stress and was specifically induced by Cd2+ treatment. We investigated the metal-binding characteristics of CsMTL2 and its possible role in the homeostasis and/or detoxification of metals by heterologous overexpression in Escherichia coli cells. Furthermore, we produced a deletion mutant form of the protein, CsMTL2m, that contained the two Cys-rich clusters but lacked the spacer region, in E. coli. We compared the metal-binding properties of CsMTL2 with those of CsMTL2m, the β domain of human metallothionein-like protein 1 (HsMTXb), and phytochelatin-like (PCL) heterologously expressed in E. coli using metal-binding assays. We found that E. coli cells expressing CsMTL2 accumulated the highest levels of Zn2+ and Cd2+ of the four transformed cell types, with levels being significantly higher than those of control cells containing empty vector. E. coli cells expressing CsMTL2 had a higher tolerance for cadmium than for zinc ions. These findings show that CsMTL2 improves metal tolerance when heterologously expressed in E. coli. Future studies should examine whether CsMTL2 improves metal tolerance in planta. View Full-Text
Keywords: cucumber; CsMTL2; metallothionein; metal-binding properties cucumber; CsMTL2; metallothionein; metal-binding properties

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Pan, Y.; Pan, Y.; Zhai, J.; Xiong, Y.; Li, J.; Du, X.; Su, C.; Zhang, X. Cucumber Metallothionein-Like 2 (CsMTL2) Exhibits Metal-Binding Properties. Genes 2016, 7, 106.

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