Two Unconventional Metallothioneins in the Apple Snail Pomacea bridgesii Have Lost Their Metal Specificity during Adaptation to Freshwater Habitats

Mario García-Risco, Sara Calatayud, Michael Niederwanger, Ricard Albalat, Òscar Palacios, Mercè Capdevila, Reinhard Dallinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metallothioneins (MTs) are a diverse group of proteins responsible for the control of metal homeostasis and detoxification. To investigate the impact that environmental conditions might have had on the metal-binding abilities of these proteins, we have characterized the MTs from the apple snail Pomacea bridgesii, a gastropod species belonging to the class of Caenogastropoda with an amphibious lifestyle facing diverse situations of metal bioavailability. P. bridgesii has two structurally divergent MTs, named PbrMT1 and PbrMT2, that are longer than other gastropod MTs due to the presence of extra sequence motifs and metal-binding domains. We have characterized the Zn(II), Cd(II), and Cu(I) binding abilities of these two MTs after their heterologous expression in E. coli. Our results have revealed that despite their structural differences, both MTs share an unspecific metal-binding character, and a great ability to cope with elevated amounts of different metal ions. Our analyses have also revealed slight divergences in their metal-binding features: PbrMT1 shows a more pronounced Zn(II)-thionein character than PbrMT2, while the latter has a stronger Cu(I)-thionein character. The characterization of these two unconventional PbrMTs supports the loss of the metal-binding specificity during the evolution of the MTs of the Ampullariid family, and further suggests an evolutionary link of this loss with the adaptation of these gastropod lineages to metal-poor freshwater habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Gas-tropoda
  • Metal-specificity
  • Metallothionein
  • Mollusca
  • Pomacea bridgesii
  • Protein domains

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