Proteomic changes and molecular effects associated with Cr(III) and Cr(VI) treatments on germinating kiwifruit pollen

Phytochemistry. 2011 Oct;72(14-15):1786-95. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Jun 25.


The present study is aimed at identifying molecular changes elicited by Cr(III) and Cr(VI) on germinating kiwifruit pollen. To address this question, comparative proteomic and DNA laddering analyses were performed. While no genotoxic effect was detected, a number of proteins whose accumulation levels were altered by treatments were identified. In particular, the upregulation of some proteins involved in the scavenging response, cell redox homeostasis and lipid synthesis could be interpreted as an oxidative stress response induced by Cr treatment. The strong reduction of two proteins involved in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and a decline in ATP levels were also observed. The decrease of pollen energy availability could be one of the causes of the severe inhibition of the pollen germination observed upon exposure to both Cr(III) and Cr(VI). Finally, proteomic and biochemical data indicate proteasome impairment: the consequential accumulation of misfolded/damaged proteins could be an important molecular mechanism of Cr(III) toxicity in pollen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinidia / drug effects
  • Actinidia / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / analysis
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Chromium / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • DNA, Plant / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pollen / drug effects
  • Pollen / metabolism*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / drug effects
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • DNA, Plant
  • Chromium
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex