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Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of the effects of metal nanoparticle exposure on the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Authors
  • Simon, Dana F
  • Domingos, Rute F
  • Hauser, Charles
  • Hutchins, Colin M
  • Zerges, William
  • Wilkinson, Kevin J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
July 2013
Volume
79
Issue
16
Pages
4774–4785
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00998-13
PMID: 23728819
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The widespread use of nanoparticles (NPs) raises concern over their potential toxicological effects in humans and ecosystems. Here we used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) to evaluate the effects of exposure to four different metal-based NPs, nano-Ag (nAg), nano-TiO2 (nTiO2), nano-ZnO (nZnO), and CdTe/CdS quantum dots (QDs), in the eukaryotic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The transcriptome was characterized before and after exposure to each NP type. Specific toxicological effects were inferred from the functions of genes whose transcripts either increased or decreased. Data analysis resulted in important differences and also similarities among the NPs. Elevated levels of transcripts of several marker genes for stress were observed, suggesting that only nZnO caused nonspecific global stress to the cells under environmentally relevant conditions. Genes with photosynthesis-related functions were decreased drastically during exposure to nTiO2 and slightly during exposures to the other NP types. This pattern suggests either toxicological effects in the chloroplast or effects that mimic a transition from low to high light. nAg exposure dramatically elevated the levels of transcripts encoding known or predicted components of the cell wall and the flagella, suggesting that it damages structures exposed to the external milieu. Exposures to nTiO2, nZnO, and QDs elevated the levels of transcripts encoding subunits of the proteasome, suggesting proteasome inhibition, a phenomenon believed to underlie the development and progression of several major diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, and used in chemotherapy against multiple myeloma.

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