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Hemoglobin as a major binding protein for methylmercury in white-sided dolphin liver

Abstract : As methylmercury (MeHg) can be bioaccumulated and biomagnified in the trophic web, its toxicity for marine mammals is of major concern. Mercury speciation in marine biota has been widely studied, mainly focused on the discrimination and quantification of inorganic Hg and MeHg. Less attention has been paid to the interactions of Hg with biomolecules and the characterization of its specific binding, which play a key role in metabolic pathways controlling its uptake, transformation, and toxicity. In the studied white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) liver homogenate (QC04LH4) sample, approximately 60 % of the total MeHg was found in the water soluble fraction, specifically associated with high molecular weight biomolecules. The identity of the involved proteins was investigated (after tryptic digestion of the fraction) by μRPLC with parallel detection by ICP-MS and ESI-MS/MS. Molecular mass spectrometry experiments were carried out at high resolution (100000) to ensure accurate protein identification and determination of the MeHg binding sites. Cysteine residue on the dolphin hemoglobin β chain was found to be the main MeHg binding site, suggesting that hemoglobin is a major MeHg binding protein in this marine mammal and could be a potential carrier of this MeHg from blood to liver prior to its degradation in this organ. In parallel, a significant proportion of selenium was found to be present as selenoneine and a potential role for this compound in Hg detoxification is discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 10:51:24 PM
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Zoyne Pedrero, Laurent Ouerdane, Sandra Mounicou, Ryszard Lobinski, Mathilde Monperrus, et al.. Hemoglobin as a major binding protein for methylmercury in white-sided dolphin liver. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Springer Verlag, 2014, 406 (4), pp.1121-1129. ⟨10.1007/s00216-013-7274-6⟩. ⟨hal-01505934⟩



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