The early responses of Arabidopsis thaliana cells to cadmium exposure explored by protein and metabolite profiling analyses.
To get more insight into plant cell response to cadmium (Cd) stress, both proteomic and metabolomic "differential display" analyses were performed on Arabidopsis thaliana cells exposed to different concentrations of the toxic chemical. After a 24 h treatment, soluble proteins extracted from untreated and treated cells were separated by 2-D-PAGE and image analyses were performed to quantify and compare protein levels. Proteins up- and down-regulated in response to Cd were identified by MS and mapped into specific metabolic pathways and cellular processes, highlighting probable activation of the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur metabolic pathways. For some of these proteins, Northern blot and RT-PCR analyses were performed to test transcript accumulation in response to Cd. In parallel, metabolite profiling analyses by LC coupled to ESI MS were initiated to better characterize the metabolic adaptation to the chemical stress. This study revealed that the main variation at the metabolite level came from the presence of six different families of phytochelatins, in A. thaliana cells treated with Cd, whose accumulation increases with Cd concentrations. Taken together these data provide an overview of the molecular and cellular changes elicited by Cd exposure.