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Localization of Phytochelatins in C. elegans

Christian Collin-Hansen Christian.Collin-Hansen at chem.ntnu.no
Wed Jun 25 06:33:32 EST 2003

The small, cysteine-rich peptides called phytochelatins (PCs) are the
most important heavy metal binding - and detoxifying - peptides in
plants, and they're also found in some fungi.

In 2001 a team led by Philip A. Rea at the University of Pennsylvania
discovered that the enzyme phytochelatin synthase is also present in
C. elegans, indicating that this pathway for heavy metal
detoxification might be important in some animals, too. Most of the
research on phytochelatins, however, has been done with plants.

In plants, the PCs are translocated to the vacuole after the binding
of heavy metals. But fungi and animals don't have vacuoles. Does
anyone know where the PCs are located after binding the metals in
these organisms?? Do they remain in the cytosol?

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