Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Traffic of Secondary Metabolites to Cell Surface in the Red Alga Laurencia dendroidea Depends on a Two-Step Transport by the Cytoskeleton

Vanessa M. Reis, Louisi S. Oliveira, Raoni M. F. Passos, Nathan B. Viana, Cláudia Mermelstein, Celso Sant'Anna, Renato C. Pereira, Wladimir C. Paradas, Fabiano L. Thompson, Gilberto M. Amado-Filho, Leonardo T. Salgado

In Laurencia dendroidea, halogenated secondary metabolites are primarily located in the vacuole named the corps en cerise (CC). For chemical defence at the surface level, these metabolites are intracellularly mobilised through vesicle transport from the CC to the cell periphery for posterior exocytosis of these chemicals. The cell structures involved in this specific vesicle traffic as well as the cellular structures related to the positioning and anchoring of the CC within the cell are not well known. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of cytoskeletal elements in both processes. Cellular and molecular assays were conducted to i) determine the ultrastructural apparatus involved in the vesicle traffic, ii) localise cytoskeletal filaments, iii) evaluate the role of different cytoskeletal filaments in the vesicle transport, iv) identify the cytoskeletal filaments responsible for the positioning and anchoring of the CC, and v) identify the transcripts related to cytoskeletal activity and vesicle transport. Our results show that microfilaments are found within the connections linking the CC to the cell periphery, playing an essential role in the vesicle traffic at these connections, which means a first step of the secondary metabolites transport to the cell surface. After that, the microtubules work in the positioning of the vesicles along the cell periphery towards specific regions where exocytosis takes place, which corresponds to the second step of the secondary metabolites transport to the cell surface. In addition, microtubules are involved in anchoring and positioning the CC to the cell periphery. Transcriptomic analysis revealed the expression of genes coding for actin filaments, microtubules, motor proteins and cytoskeletal accessory proteins. Genes related to vesicle traffic, exocytosis and membrane recycling were also identified. Our findings show, for the first time, that actin microfilaments and microtubules play an underlying cellular role in the chemical defence of red algae.
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