Discrimination between two rice metallothionein isoforms belonging to type 1 and type 4 in metal-binding ability.Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2013 May-Jun; 60(3):275-82.BA
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a superfamily of low-molecular-weight, cysteine (Cys)-rich proteins that are believed to play important roles in protection against metal toxicity and oxidative stress. Plants have several MT isoforms, which are classified into four types based on the arrangement of Cys residues. In this study, two rice (Oryza sativa) MT isoforms, OsMTI-1b and OsMTII-1a from type 1 and type 4, respectively, were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli as carboxy-terminal extensions of glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Transformed cells expressing GST-OsMTI-1b showed increased tolerance to Ni(2+) , Cd(2+) , and Zn(2+) and accumulated more metal ions compared with cells expressing GST alone. However, heterologous expression of GST-OsMTII-1a had no significant effects on metal tolerance or ion accumulation. The UV absorption spectra and competitive reactions of in vitro Cd-incubated proteins with 5-5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic) acid revealed that GST-OsMTI-1b, but not GST-OsMTII-1a, is able to form Cd-thiolate clusters. Furthermore, heterologous expression of both GST-OsMTI-1b and GST-OsMTII-1a conferred H2 O2 tolerance to E. coli cells. Taken together, the results presented here show that two different rice MT isoforms belonging to type 1 and type 4 differ in Ni(2+) , Cd(2+) , and Zn(2+) binding abilities, but they may have overlapping function in protection of cells against oxidative stress.