Linking toxicity and adaptive responses across the transcriptome, proteome, and phenotype of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exposed to silver
Understanding mechanistic and cellular events underlying a toxicological outcome allows the prediction of impact of environmental stressors to organisms living in different habitats. A systems-based approach aids in characterizing molecular events, and thereby the cellular pathways that have been perturbed. However, mapping only adverse outcomes of a toxicant falls short of describing the stress or adaptive response that is mounted to maintain homeostasis on perturbations and may confer resistance to the toxic insult. Silver is a potential threat to aquatic organisms because of the increasing use of silver-based nanomaterials, which release free silver ions. The effects of silver were investigated at the transcriptome, proteome, and cellular levels of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The cells instigate a fast transcriptome and proteome response, including perturbations in copper transport system and detoxification mechanisms. Silver causes an initial toxic insult, which leads to a plummeting of ATP and photosynthesis and damage because of oxidative stress. In response, the cells mount a defense response to combat oxidative stress and to eliminate silver via efflux transporters. From the analysis of the perturbations of the cell's functions, we derived a detailed mechanistic understanding of temporal dynamics of toxicity and adaptive response pathways for C. reinhardtii exposed to silver.