Implication of nitric oxide in the heat-stress-induced cell death of the symbiotic alga Symbiodinium microadriaticum

Bouchard, Josée Nina and Yamasaki, Hideo (2009) Implication of nitric oxide in the heat-stress-induced cell death of the symbiotic alga Symbiodinium microadriaticum. Marine Biology, 156, (11), 2209-2220. (doi:10.1007/s00227-009-1249-3).


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One of the major consequences of global warming is a rise in sea surface temperature which may affect the survival of marine organisms including phytoplankton. Here, we provide experimental evidence for heat-induced cell death in a symbiotic microalga. Shifting Symbiodinium microadriaticum from 27 to 32°C resulted in an increase in mortality, an increase in caspase 3-like activity, and an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production. The caspase-like activity was strongly correlated with the production of NO in thermally challenged microalgae. For this experiment, the application of Ac-DEVD-CHO, a mammalian caspase 3-specific inhibitor, partly prevented (by 65%) the increase in caspase-like activity. To verify the relationship between NO and the caspase-like activity, S. microadriaticum were subsequently incubated with 1.0 mM of the following chemical NO donors: sodium nitroprusside (SNP), S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) and 3,3bis(Aminoethyl)-1-hydroxy-2-oxo-1-triazene (NOC-18). The supplementation of both SNP and NOC-18 caused a significant increase in caspase-like activity compared to the control treatment. Pre-treatment of the microalgae with the inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO before the supplementation of the different NO donors completely prevented the increase in caspase-like activity. These results suggest that NO could play a role in the induction of cell death in heat-stressed S. microadriaticum by mediating an increase in caspase-like activity.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s00227-009-1249-3
ISSNs: 0025-3162 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 71763
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
October 2009Published
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:03

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