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Pending.png Cadmium Inducible Promoter Team:Nevada/registry submissions

Heavy metal contamination is an important environmental issue. Heavy metals can contaminate soil and water sources in areas where mining and various industrial proccesses have occurred. These metals can then be absorbed into plants which are subsequently eaten by various animals. Heavy metals are usually not excreted readily and are retained within the body of an animal that has consumed a contaminated food source. Cadmium in particular is not excreted readily from the mammals and is known to cause various etiologies stemming from its build-up in organs (Gobe and Cramer). In order to develop a mock cadmium-sensing system in plants the promoter for the Cd-transporter gene AtMRP3 (At3g13080) from A. thaliana was transformed into N. tabacum cells. AtMRP3 is utilized by the plant to sequester Cd2+ in the vacuole, which is thought to prevent the cation from interfering with various biological processes (Bovet et al.). Besides being highly induced by cadmium, AtMRP3 has also shown similar induction patterns when plants were subjected to arsenic or lead, thusly making it a useful sensor for various heavy metal soil contaminants.


AtMRP3 will be the first plant-compatible heavy metal promoter available to the iGEM registry. This promoter could be coupled with a myriad of reporters to indicate whether or not plants are experiencing any type of stress due to the presence of cadmium or other heavy metals.

Bovet et al. Transcript levels of AtMRP3 after cadmium treatment: induction of AtMRP3. Plant, Cell and Environment., 26: 371-381, 2003.
Gobe and Cramer. Mitochondria, reactive oxygen species and cadmium toxicity in the kidney. Toxicology Letters., 198: 49-55, 2010.

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