Understanding how cells cope with stress

Proteome Science 9, 39 (2011). doi:10.1186/1477-5956-9-39.
Pavinee Kurdrid, Jittisak Senachak, Matura Sirijuntarut, Rayakorn Yutthanasirikul, Phuttawadee Phuengcharoen, Wattana Jeamton, Sittiruk Roytrakul, Supapon Cheevadhanarak and Apiradee Hongsthong.
“Comparative analysis of the Spirulina platensis subcellular proteome in response to low- and high-temperature stresses: uncovering cross-talk of signaling components”.

By combining biochemical tools and computational analysis, Thai scientists map out how algal cells adapt to exposure to heat or cold.

The blue-green algae Spirulina platensis must routinely adjust to cellular stress resulting from rising and falling environmental temperatures, and it selectively modulates the production of subsets of proteins to adapt to such conditions.

Thai researchers, led by Apiradee Hongsthong of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Bangkok, recently paired liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry to catalogue the various proteins that specifically contribute to heat and cold stress response. They combined the resulting data with findings from an earlier study. They identified a total of 169 proteins in which the expression level changed exclusively in response to either heat or cold, as well as 20 proteins that apparently participate in both adaptation processes.

The researchers then used software to map likely interactions between these various factors, and to identify ‘clusters’ of proteins in which expression appears to be jointly regulated to contribute to initial resistance, subsequent adaptation or long-term tolerance. These data offer useful insights into specific components of temperature response; for example, heat and cold both lead to shifts in the production of enzymes that harvest nitrogen and ammonia for protein biosynthesis. This proteome-oriented approach should also provide an effective general strategy for investigating how cells coordinate their response to other external stimuli as well.

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  1. November 28, 2011

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