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Proteomics. 2008 Dec;8(23-24):4976-86. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800165.

A proteome analysis of the cadmium and mercury response in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

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Department of Chemical-Technical Analysis, Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality, Technical University of Munich, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.


Cadmium and mercury are well-known toxic heavy metals, but the basis of their toxicity is not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the cellular response of Corynebacterium glutamicum to sublethal concentrations of cadmium and mercury ions using 2-DE and MS. Mercury induced the over-expression of 13 C. glutamicum proteins, whereas 35 proteins were induced, and 8 proteins were repressed, respectively, under cadmium stress. The principal response to these metals was protection against oxidative stress, as demonstrated by upregulation of, e.g., Mn/Zn superoxide dismutase. Thioredoxin and oxidoreductase responded most strongly to cadmium and mercury. The increased level of heat-shock proteins, enzymes involved in energy metabolism, as well as in lipoic acid and terpenoid biosynthesis after the treatment of cells with cadmium was also registered. Identification of these proteins and their mapping into specific cellular processes enable a global understanding of the way in which C. glutamicum adapts to heavy-metal stress and may help to gain deeper insight into the toxic mechanism of these metals.

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