The role of thiol species in the hypertolerance of Aspergillus sp. P37 to arsenic.

D. Canovas, H. Vooijs, H. Schat, V. De Lorenzo

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Aspergillus sp. P37 is an arsenate-hypertolerant fungus isolated from a river in Spain with a long history of contamination with metals. This strain is able to grow in the presence of 0.2 M arsenate, i.e. 20-fold higher than the reference strain, Aspergillus nidulans TS1. Although Aspergillus sp. P37 reduces As(V) to As(III), which is slowly pumped out of the cell, the measured efflux of oxyanions is insufficient to explain the high tolerance levels of this strain. To gain an insight into this paradox, the accumulation of acid-soluble thiol species in Aspergillus sp. P37 when exposed to arsenic was compared with that of the arsenic-sensitive A. nidulans TS1 strain. Increasing levels of arsenic in the medium did not diminish the intracellular pool of reduced glutathione in Aspergillus sp. P37, in sharp contrast with the decline of glutathione in A. nidulans under the same conditions. Furthermore, concentrations of arsenic that were inhibitory for the sensitive A. nidulans strain (e.g. 50 mM and above) provoked a massive formation of vacuoles filled with thiol species. Because the major fraction, of the cellular arsenic was present as the glutathione conjugate As(GS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51234-51240
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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