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Late embryogenesis abundant proteins protect human hepatoma cells during acute desiccation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2012)
  • Shumin Li, Louisiana State University
  • Nilay Chakraborty, Harvard Medical School
  • Apurva Borcar, Louisiana State University
  • Michael A Menze, University of Louisville
  • Mehmet Toner, Harvard Medical School
  • Steven C. Hand, Louisiana State University
Expression of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins is highly correlated with desiccation tolerance in anhydrobiotic animals, selected land plants, and bacteria. Genes encoding two LEA proteins, one localized to the cytoplasm/nucleus (AfrLEA2) and one targeted to mitochondria (AfrLEA3m), were stably transfected into human HepG2 cells. A trehalose transporterwas used for intracellular loading of this disaccharide. Cellswere rapidly and uniformly desiccated to low water content (<0.12 g H2O/g dry weight) with a recently developed spin-drying technique. Immediately on rehydration, control cells without LEA proteins or trehalose exhibited 0% membrane integrity, comparedwith 98% in cells loaded with trehalose and expressing AfrLEA2 or AfrLEA3m; surprisingly, AfrLEA3m without trehalose conferred 94% protection. Cell proliferation across 7 d showed an 18-fold increase for cells dried with AfrLEA3m and trehalose, compared with 27-fold for nondried controls. LEA proteins dramatically enhance desiccation tolerance in mammalian cells and offer the opportunity for engineering biostability in the dried state.
  • water stress,
  • biopreservation,
  • intrinsically disordered proteins,
  • osmolyte,
  • Artemia franciscana
Publication Date
November 26, 2012
Publisher Statement
Published online before print November 26, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1214893109
Citation Information
Shumin Li, Nilay Chakraborty, Apurva Borcar, Michael A Menze, et al.. "Late embryogenesis abundant proteins protect human hepatoma cells during acute desiccation" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2012)
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