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Biochimie. 2006 Nov;88(11):1751-65. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Genome-wide transcriptome profiling of the early cadmium response of Arabidopsis roots and shoots.

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  • 1CEA Cadarache, DSV/DEVM/Laboratoire des Echanges Membranaires et Signalisation, UMR 6191 CNRS-CEA-Aix-Marseille-II, 13108 Saint-Paul-les-Durance cedex, France.


Transcriptional regulation in response to cadmium treatment was investigated in both roots and leaves of Arabidopsis, using the whole genome CATMA microarray containing at least 24,576 independent probe sets. Arabidopsis plants were hydroponically treated with low (5 microM) or high (50 microM) cadmium concentrations during 2, 6, and 30 hours. At each time point, Cd level was determined using ICP-AES showing that both plant tissues are able to accumulate the heavy metal. RT-PCR of eight randomly selected genes confirmed the reliability of our microarray results. Analyses of response profiles demonstrate the existence of a regulatory network that differentially modulates gene expression in a tissue- and kinetic-specific manner in response to cadmium. One of the main response observed in roots was the induction of genes involved in sulfur assimilation-reduction and glutathione (GSH) metabolism. In addition, HPLC analysis of GSH and phytochelatin (PC) content shows a transient decrease of GSH after 2 and 6 h of metal treatment in roots correlated with an increase of PC contents. Altogether, our results suggest that to cope with cadmium, plants activate the sulfur assimilation pathway by increasing transcription of related genes to provide an enhanced supply of GSH for PC biosynthesis. Interestingly, in leaves an early induction of several genes encoding enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids was observed. Finally, our results provide new insights to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in transcriptional regulation in response to cadmium exposure in plants.

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