, Volume 137, Issue 4, pp 291-294

Role of silicon in diatom metabolism

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Proteins of Cylindrotheca fusiformis which incorporated significant 32PO4 were identified as soluble, acidic proteins, and their two-dimensions gel positions were determined. Upon addition of silicate to silicon-starved cells, at least 3 of these proteins showed a significant and rapid change in the level of phosphorylation. Under the same conditions the amount of 32PO4-labeled ATP, ADP, and GTP remained relatively constant. Thus silicon appears to affect phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of specific proteins, and these changes are sufficiently rapid to suggest that phosphorylation may have a role in mediating the silicon requirement for both DNA synthesis and the accumulation of specific mRNAs.