The overexpression of serine acetyltransferase from the Ni-hyperaccumulating plant Thlaspi goesingense causes enhanced nickel and cobalt resistance in Escherichia coli. Furthermore, overexpression of T. goesingense serine acetyltransferase results in enhanced sensitivity to cadmium and has no significant effect on resistance to zinc. Enhanced nickel resistance is directly related to the constitutive overactivation of sulfur assimilation and glutathione biosynthesis, driven by the overproduction of O-acetyl-L-serine, the product of serine acetyltransferase and a positive regulator of the cysteine regulon. Nickel in the serine acetyltransferase-overexpressing strains is not detoxified by coordination or precipitation with sulfur, suggesting that glutathione is involved in reducing the oxidative damage imposed by nickel.
- phytochelatin synthase
- metal ions