Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2019; 24(3): 552-559  
Ectopic Overexpression of Teff Grass (Eragrostis tef) Phi-class Glutathione S-transferase 1 (EtGSTF1) Enhances Prokaryotic Cell Survivability against Diverse Abiotic Stresses
Ki-Won Lee1,†, Serim Hong2,†, Md. Atikur Rahman1, Hee Chung Ji1, Joon-Yung Cha3, Chris Stephen Jones4, Daeyoung Son2,3,*, and Sang-Hoon Lee5
1Grassland & Forages Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Cheonan 31000, Korea
2Department of Plant Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea
3Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus), Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea
4Feed and Forage Biosciences, International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa 5689, Ethiopia
5Animal Genetic Resources Research Center, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Namwon 55717, Korea
Correspondence to: Daeyoung Son
Tel: +82-55-772-1926; Fax: +82-55-772-1929

Sang-Hoon Lee*
Tel: +82-63-620-3530; Fax: +82-63-620-3530

These authors contributed equally to the work.
Received: December 23, 2018; Revised: March 19, 2019; Accepted: March 27, 2019; Published online: June 30, 2019.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are encoded by a large gene family and well conserved in all living organisms; however they have evolved and are classified clearly according to each kingdom. GSTs are a dimeric protein that has been reported to maintain redox homeostasis in cells, and to protect organisms against oxidative damage. Recently, we isolated a GST coding gene from stress-treated teff grass (Eragrostis tef) and identified it as a plant-specific phi class GST (EtGSTF1) possessing conserved phi class-specific GST N- and C-terminal domains, GSH binding site, substrate binding pocket, and dimer interface. We found that overexpression of plant-specific phi class EtGSTF1 confers diverse abiotic stress tolerances including salt, osmotic, and heat stresses in E. coli which does not possess phi class GSTs. In addition, EtGSTF1 expression helps the E. coli cells tolerate arsenic (As)-induced cell toxicity. Collectively, although plantae and prokaryotae have differentiated a few billions of years ago, the plant-specific phi class EtGSTF1 could protect prokaryotic organisms by detoxification of molecules under diverse abiotic stresses.
Keywords: abiotic stress, arsenic, ectopic overexpression, glutathione S-transferases, teff grass

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