Effective display of metallothionein tandem repeats on the bioadsorption of cadmium ion
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To increase the level of adsorption of heavy metal ions in surface-engineered yeasts, a yeast metallothionein (YMT) was tandemly fused and displayed by means of an α-agglutinin-based display system. The display of the YMT and its tandem repeats was examined by immunofluorescent labeling. The adsorption and recovery of Cd2+ on the cell surface was increasingly enhanced with increasing number of tandem repeats. All Cd2+-binding sites in the YMT tandem repeats were suggested to be completely occupied. To investigate the relationship between cell-surface adsorption and protection against heavy metal ion toxicity, the tolerance of these surface-engineered yeasts to Cd2+ was examined by growing in Cd2+-containing liquid medium. The rate of growth was found to be dependent on the number of displayed tandem repeats of YMT. These results suggest that the characteristics of surface-engineered yeasts as a bioadsorbent were dependent on the ability of the displayed proteins to bind metal ions, and the adsorption of heavy metal ions on the cell surface plays a major role in the ability of the cells to resist the toxic effects of metal ions.
We thank Professor Tadashi Kokubo of Kyoto University for his permission to use the inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscope in his laboratory.
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