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Effects of cadmium and zinc on gene expression of novel molecular biomarkers in the mangrove oyster Crassostrea gasar

Ferreira, C. P., Bastolla, C. L. V., Saldaña-Serrano, M., Lima, D., de M. Gomes, C. H. A., Schroeder, D. C., Bainy, A. C. D. and Lüchmann, K. H. (2023) Effects of cadmium and zinc on gene expression of novel molecular biomarkers in the mangrove oyster Crassostrea gasar. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology and Pharmacology, 270. 109641. ISSN 1878-1659

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2023.109641


Metal contamination impacts various aquatic species, and mollusk bivalves are appropriate sentinel organisms in coastal pollution assessment. Metal exposure can disrupt homeostasis, alter gene expression, and harm cellular processes. However, organisms have evolved mechanisms to regulate metal ions and counteract their toxicity. This study examined the effect of acute cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) on metal-related gene expression in gills of Crassostrea gasar following 24 and 48 h of laboratory exposure. We focused on Zn transport, metallothionein (MT), glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis, and calcium (Ca) transporter genes to understand the underlying Cd and Zn-accumulating mechanisms that prevent metal toxicity. Our findings revealed increased Cd and Zn levels in oyster gills, with significantly higher accumulation after 48 h. C. gasar accumulated high Cd concentrations even in scarce conditions and increased Zn levels, suggesting a strategy to cope with toxicity. While no significant gene expression differences were observed after 24 h, the increased metal accumulation after 48 h led to upregulation of CHAC1, GCLC, ZnT2, and MT-like genes in oysters exposed to Cd, and increased ZnT2-like expression following exposure to higher Cd/Zn mixtures. We found evidence of oysters may mobilize metal-related genes to mitigate Cd-induced toxicity by both chelating metals and/or reducing their intracellular concentrations. The observed genes upregulation also indicates their sensitivity to changes in metal bioavailability. Overall, this study offers insights into oyster mechanisms for coping with metal toxicity and suggests ZnT , MT, CHAC1, and GCLC-like as molecular biomarkers for monitoring aquatic metal pollution using C. gasar as sentinel species.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:111976
Uncontrolled Keywords:Oysters, Metals, Biomonitoring, Pollution biomarkers

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