, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 267-276

Glutathione-mediated Antioxidative Mechanisms in Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus L.) Cells in Response to Cadmium Stress

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Cadmium (Cd) homeostasis and detoxification in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) cells differing in Cd sensitivity/tolerance were studied by analyzing the glutathione-mediated antioxidant mechanism vis-à-vis phytochelatin biosynthesis in vitro. Calluses exposed to Cd-shock/-acclimatization (150μM) were assayed for oxidative stress, reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione disulfide (GSSG), phytochelatins (PCs) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although Cd did not induce any oxidative stress in Cd-tolerant callus (TCd), it generated oxidative stress in Cd-shock callus (SCd) both in terms of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. GSH/GSSG ratio remained similar to control values in the cadmium-acclimatized calluses. However, after acute treatment, there was a decline in both GSH and GSSG levels in SCd with concomitant reduction in the GSH/GSSG ratio. Analysis of PCs was performed using HPLC and mass spectrometry methods. PC concentration in TCd were approximately twice those that in SCd, showing in both cases a 1:2:1 relative proportion for PC n = 2 (PC2): PC n = 3 (PC3): PC n = 4 (PC4). Calluses growing in the presence of Cd developed an increased resistance to paraquat oxidative stress generation. These results indicated that PCs synthesis was an important mechanism for Cd detoxification in sunflower calluses, but the capacity to grow in the presence of Cd is related to the tissues ability to maintain high intracellular levels of GSH.