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Microalgal metallothioneins and phytochelatins and their potential use in bioremediation
Balzano, S.; Sardo, A.; Blasio, M.; Chahine, T.B.; Dell’Anno, F.; Sansone, C.; Brunet, C. (2020). Microalgal metallothioneins and phytochelatins and their potential use in bioremediation. Front. Microbiol. 11: article 517.
In: Frontiers in Microbiology. Frontiers Media: Lausanne. ISSN 1664-302X; e-ISSN 1664-302X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    heavy metals; metallothioneins; phytochelatins; microalgal biotechnologies; phycoremediation; cysteine; glutathione; metal-binding proteins

Auteurs  Top 
  • Balzano, S., meer
  • Sardo, A.
  • Blasio, M.
  • Chahine, T.B.
  • Dell’Anno, F.
  • Sansone, C.
  • Brunet, C., meer

    The persistence of heavy metals (HMs) in the environment causes adverse effects to all living organisms; HMs accumulate along the food chain affecting different levels of biological organizations, from cells to tissues. HMs enter cells through transporter proteins and can bind to enzymes and nucleic acids interfering with their functioning. Strategies used by microalgae to minimize HM toxicity include the biosynthesis of metal-binding peptides that chelate metal cations inhibiting their activity. Metal-binding peptides include genetically encoded metallothioneins (MTs) and enzymatically produced phytochelatins (PCs). A number of techniques, including genetic engineering, focus on increasing the biosynthesis of MTs and PCs in microalgae. The present review reports the current knowledge on microalgal MTs and PCs and describes the state of art of their use for HM bioremediation and other putative biotechnological applications, also emphasizing on techniques aimed at increasing the cellular concentrations of MTs and PCs. In spite of the broad metabolic and chemical diversity of microalgae that are currently receiving increasing attention by biotechnological research, knowledge on MTs and PCs from these organisms is still limited to date.

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