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Chemosphere. 2013 Jul;92(5):535-43. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.03.052. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Different transcriptional responses of heat shock protein 70/90 in the marine diatom Ditylum brightwellii exposed to metal compounds and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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  • 1Department of Life Science, Sangmyung University, Seoul 110-743, Republic of Korea.


Environmental hazard assessments using diatoms have been well documented; however, their molecular toxicology has not been sufficiently studied. In this study, we characterized heat shock protein (HSP) 70/90 of the diatom Ditylum brightwellii (Db) and evaluated their transcriptional profiles in response to various environmental stresses (e.g., thermal shocks and metal and non-metal pollutants). Putative DbHSP70 (658aa, 71.7 kDa) and DbHSP90 (707aa, 80.2 kDa) proteins had conserved HSP family motifs but different C-terminus motifs, that is, "EEVD" in DbHSP70 and "MEEVD" in DbHSP90. Phylogenetic analyses of both proteins showed that D. brightwellii was well clustered with other diatoms. Real-time PCR analysis showed that thermal stress considerably upregulated DbHSP70 and DbHSP90. As for chemical pollutants, DbHSP70 greatly responded to CuSO4 and NiSO4 exposure, but not CuCl2 or NiCl2. However, DbHSP90 was significantly upregulated by all the metal compounds tested (CuSO4, NiSO4, CuCl2, and NiCl2). Strikingly, the expression of both genes was not induced by the organic pollutants tested, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These data suggest that DbHSP70 and DbHSP90 are differentially involved in the defense response against various environmental stressors. Moreover, metal toxicity may be specifically affected by the conjugated anion in the metal compounds (e.g., SO4(2-) and Cl(-)).

Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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