Nickel is an essential micronutrient due to its involvement in many enzymatic reactions as a cofactor. However, excess of this element is toxic to biological systems. Here, we constructed a cDNA library from Beta maritima and screened it in the yeast system to identify genes that confer resistance to toxic levels of nickel. A cDNA clone (NIC6), which encodes for a putative membrane protein with unknown function, was found to help yeast cells to tolerate toxic levels of nickel. A GFP fused form of Nic6 protein was localized to multivesicular structures in tobacco epidermal cells. Thus, our results suggest a possible role of Nic6 in nickel and intracellular ion homeostasis.
Keywords: Beta maritima; Heavy metal toxicity; Ion homeostasis; Nickel; Transporter protein; Yeast.
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