Phytochelatin homologs induced in hairy roots of horseradish

Phytochemistry. 2000 Jan;53(2):239-45. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(99)00493-8.


When exposed to excess heavy metals, plants induce phytochelatins and related peptides (all designated as PCAs). Thus, when hairy roots of horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) were exposed for 3 days to cadmium (1 mM) along with reduced glutathione (2 mM), PCA induction occurred. Moreover, a new family of thiol peptides was detected as well as the previously known PCAs, as revealed by postcolumn-derivatization HPLC. Two were isolated and their structures were identified as (gamma-Glu-Cys)n-Gln (n = 3 and 4) by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometer spectra, this being confirmed by chemical synthesis of the peptides. These new analogs constitute the sixth PCA family identified to date.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cadmium / pharmacology
  • Chelating Agents*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Glutathione
  • Metalloproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Peptide Biosynthesis*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Phytochelatins
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Plant Roots / drug effects
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plants, Edible / drug effects
  • Plants, Edible / metabolism*


  • Chelating Agents
  • Metalloproteins
  • Peptides
  • Plant Proteins
  • Cadmium
  • Phytochelatins
  • Glutathione