skip to main content


Title: Deletion of phytochelatin synthase modulates the metal accumulation pattern of cadmium exposed C. elegans

Here, environmental metal pollution is a growing health risk to flora and fauna. It is therefore important to fully elucidate metal detoxification pathways. Phytochelatin synthase (PCS), an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of phytochelatins (PCs), plays an important role in cadmium detoxification. The PCS and PCs are however not restricted to plants, but are also present in some lower metazoans. The model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for example, contains a fully functional phytochelatin synthase and phytochelatin pathway. By means of a transgenic nematode strain expressing a pcs-1 promoter-tagged GFP ( pcs-1::GFP) and a pcs-1 specific qPCR assay, further evidence is presented that the expression of the C. elegans phytochelatin synthase gene (pcs-1) is transcriptionally non-responsive to a chronic (48 h) insult of high levels of zinc (500 μM) or acute (3 h) exposures to high levels of cadmium (300 μM). However, the accumulation of cadmium, but not zinc, is dependent on the pcs-1 status of the nematode. Synchrotron based X-ray fluorescence imaging uncovered that the cadmium body burden increased significantly in the pcs-1(tm1748) knockout allele. Taken together, this suggests that whilst the transcription of pcs-1 may not be mediated by an exposure zinc or cadmium, it is nevertheless an integral partmore » of the cadmium detoxification pathway in C. elegans.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. King's College London, London (United Kingdom)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Online); Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1422-0067
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; C. elegans; nematode; phytochelatin synthase; X-ray fluorescence microscopy
OSTI Identifier: