The Moss Leptodictyum riparium Counteracts Severe Cadmium Stress by Activation of Glutathione Transferase and Phytochelatin Synthase, but Slightly by Phytochelatins.Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Feb 26; 21(5)IJ
In the present work, we investigated the response to Cd in Leptodictyum riparium, a cosmopolitan moss (Bryophyta) that can accumulate higher amounts of metals than other plants, even angiosperms, with absence or slight apparent damage. High-performance liquid chromatography followed by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry of extracts from L. riparium gametophytes, exposed to 0, 36 and 360 µM Cd for 7 days, revealed the presence of γ-glutamylcysteine (γ-EC), reduced glutathione (GSH), and traces of phytochelatins. The increase in Cd concentrations progressively augmented reactive oxygen species levels, with activation of both antioxidant (catalase and superoxide dismutase) and detoxifying (glutathione-S-transferase) enzymes. After Cd treatment, cytosolic and vacuolar localization of thiol peptides was performed by means of the fluorescent dye monochlorobimane and subsequent observation with confocal laser scanning microscopy. The cytosolic fluorescence observed with the highest Cd concentrations was also consistent with the formation of γ-EC-bimane in the cytosol, possibly catalyzed by the peptidase activity of the L. riparium phytochelatin synthase. On the whole, activation of phytochelatin synthase and glutathione-S-transferase, but minimally phytochelatin synthesis, play a role to counteract Cd toxicity in L. riparium, in this manner minimizing the cellular damage caused by the metal. This study strengthens previous investigations on the L. riparium ability to efficiently hinder metal pollution, hinting at a potential use for biomonitoring and phytoremediation purposes.