A plant type 2 metallothionein (MT) from cork tissue responds to oxidative stress

Gisela Mir, Jordi Domènech, Gemma Huguet, Woei Jiun Guo, Peter Goldsbrough, Silvia Atrian, Marisa Molinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


Expression of plant metallothionein genes has been reported in a variety of senescing tissues, such as leaves and stems, ripening fruits, and wounded tissues, and has been proposed to function in both metal chaperoning and scavenging of reactive oxygen species. In this work, it is shown that MT is also associated with suberization, after identifying a gene actively transcribed in Quercus suber cork cells as a novel MT. This cDNA, isolated from a phellem cDNA library, encodes a MT that belongs to type 2 plant MTs (QsMT). Expression of the QsMT cDNA in E. coli grown in media supplemented with Zn, Cd, or Cu has yielded recombinant QsMT. Characterization of the respective metal aggregates agrees well with a copper-related biological role, consistent with the capacity of QsMT to restore copper tolerance to a MT-deficient, copper-sensitive yeast mutant. Furthermore, in situ hybridization results demonstrate that RNA expression of QsMT is mainly observed under conditions related to oxidative stress, either endogenous, as found in cork or in actively proliferating tissues, or exogenous, for example, in response to H2O2 or paraquat treatments. The putative role of QsMT in oxidative stress, both as a free radical scavenger via its sulphydryl groups or as a copper chelator is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2483-2493
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number408
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A plant type 2 metallothionein (MT) from cork tissue responds to oxidative stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this