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Analysis of the Proteome of the Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Exposed to Aluminum Providing Insights into Aluminum Toxicity Mechanisms

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2015, 00:00 by Jun Xie, Xiaocui Bai, Michel Lavoie, Haiping Lu, Xiaoji Fan, Xiangliang Pan, Zhengwei Fu, Haifeng Qian
Trace aluminum (Al) concentrations can be toxic to marine phytoplankton, the basis of the marine food web, but the fundamental Al toxicity and detoxification mechanisms at the molecular levels are poorly understood. Using an array of proteomic, transcriptomic, and biochemical techniques, we describe in detail the cellular response of the model marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to a short-term sublethal Al stress (4 h of exposure to 200 μM total initial Al). A total of 2204 proteins were identified and quantified by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) in response to the Al stress. Among them, 87 and 78 proteins performing various cell functions were up- and down-regulated after Al treatment, respectively. We found that photosynthesis was a key Al toxicity target. The Al-induced decrease in electron transport rates in thylakoid membranes lead to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which cause increased lipid peroxidation. Several ROS-detoxifying proteins were induced to help decrease Al-induced oxidative stress. In parallel, glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway were up-regulated in order to produce cell energy (NADPH, ATP) and carbon skeleton for cell growth, partially circumventing the Al-induced toxicity effects on photosynthesis. These cellular responses to Al stress were coordinated by the activation of various signal transduction pathways. The identification of Al-responsive proteins in the model marine phytoplankton P. tricornutum provides new insights on Al stress responses as well as a good start for further exploring Al detoxification mechanisms.