Redox signaling in the growth and development of colonial hydroids.
Blackstone NW
Journal of Experimental Biology (2003)
Category: oxidative stress ¤ Added: May 21, 2003 ¤ Rating: ◊
Redox signaling provides a quick and efficient mechanism for clonal or colonial organisms to adapt their growth and development to aspects of the environment, e.g. the food supply. A 'signature' of mitochondrial redox signaling, particularly as mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS), can be elucidated by experimental manipulation of the electron transport chain. The major sites of ROS formation are found at NADH dehydrogenase of complex I and at the interface between coenzyme Q and complex III. Inhibitors of complex III should thus upregulate ROS from both sites; inhibitors of complex I should upregulate ROS from the first but not the second site, while uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation should downregulate ROS from both sites. To investigate the possibility of such redox signaling, perturbations of colony growth and development were carried out using the hydroid Podocoryna carnea. Oxygen uptake of colonies was measured to determine comparable physiological doses of antimycin A(1) (an inhibitor of complex III), rotenone (an inhibitor of complex I) and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP; an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation). Using these doses, clear effects on colony growth and development were obtained. Treatment with antimycin A(1) results in 'runner-like' colony growth, with widely spaced polyps and stolon branches, while treatment with CCCP results in 'sheet-like' growth, with closely spaced polyps and stolon branches. Parallel results have been obtained previously with azide, an inhibitor of complex IV, and dinitrophenol, another uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation. Perhaps surprisingly, rotenone produced effects on colony development similar to those of CCCP. Assays of peroxides using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate and fluorescent microscopy suggest a moderate difference in ROS formation between the antimycin and rotenone treatments. The second site of ROS formation (the interface between coenzyme Q and complex III) may thus predominate in the signaling that regulates colony development. The fat-rich, brine shrimp diet of these hydroids may be relevant in this context. Acyl CoA dehydrogenase, which catalyzes the first step in the mitochondrial beta-oxidation of fatty acids, carries electrons to coenzyme Q, thus bypassing complex I. These results support a role for redox signaling, mediated by ROS, in colony development. Nevertheless, other redox sensors between complexes I and III may yet be found.