Project R-1317


Cd-induced oxidative stress : damage versus signalling. (Research)


Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential element that forms a major threat to the environment and public health. It is essential to examine the responses to Cd stress. In the Center for Environmental Studies (CMK) several research groups have already shown that Cd causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a disturbance of the redoxbalans, which may cause damage to membranes, proteins and DNA. More recently it was shown that oxidative stress also plays an important role in signaltransduction by which the cell also can adapt to the situation. The current projectproposal aims to an integrated knowledge of Cd stress at cellular level, to be studied in both plants and animals with regard to the role of oxidative stress in these processes. In first instance a characterization will happen of the (sub) cellular damage that occurs after Cd exposure by electron microscopy. Under different Cd regimes(different exposure levels, different exposure time) a characterization of the oxidative stress state ("oxidative stress signature ") in the cell will be made. This will happen at different levels of biological organization, from gene expression to the cellular metabolism. The obtained results should lead to the choice of a limited number of concentrations, whereby at different times a characterization of the oxidative stress status is made and on the other hand signaltransduction components are studied. Through links between these 2 components, we can gain insights into the primary cellular events after exposure to Cd. Regarding this, untill now very little is known. Moreover, the role of mitochondria in the response must be examined.

Period of project

01 January 2008 - 31 January 2015