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Eukaryot Cell. 2007 Jun;6(6):1053-62. Epub 2007 Apr 20.

Transcriptome analysis in response to heat shock and cadmium in the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 748, 05508-000 São Paulo, Brazil.


The global transcriptional response of the chytridiomycete Blastocladiella emersonii to environmental stress conditions was explored by sequencing a large number of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from three distinct cDNA libraries, constructed with mRNA extracted from cells exposed to heat shock and different concentrations of cadmium chloride. A total of 6,350 high-quality EST sequences were obtained and assembled into 2,326 putative unigenes, 51% of them not previously described in B. emersonii. To approximately 59% of the unigenes it was possible to assign an orthologue in another organism, whereas 41% of them remained without a putative identification, with transcripts related to protein folding and antioxidant activity being highly enriched in the stress libraries. A microarray chip was constructed encompassing 3,773 distinct ESTs from the B. emersonii transcriptome presently available, which correspond to a wide range of biological processes. Global gene expression analysis of B. emersonii cells exposed to stress conditions revealed a large number of differentially expressed genes: 122 up- and 60 downregulated genes during heat shock and 189 up- and 110 downregulated genes during exposure to cadmium. The main functional categories represented among the upregulated genes were protein folding and proteolysis, proteins with antioxidant properties, and cellular transport. Interestingly, in response to cadmium stress, B. emersonii cells induced genes encoding six different glutathione S-transferases and six distinct metacaspases, as well as genes coding for several proteins of sulfur amino acid metabolism, indicating that cadmium causes oxidative stress and apoptosis in this fungus. All sequences described in this study have been submitted to the GenBank EST section with the accession numbers EE 730389 to EE 736848.

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