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Barron, ME, Thies AB, Espinoza JA, Barott KL, Hamdoun A, Tresguerres M.  2018.  A vesicular Na+/Ca2+ exchanger in coral calcifying cells. PLOS ONE. 13: Public Library of Science   10.1371/journal.pone.0205367   Abstract

The calcium carbonate skeletons of corals provide the underlying structure of coral reefs; however, the cellular mechanisms responsible for coral calcification remain poorly understood. In osteoblasts from vertebrate animals, a Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) present in the plasma membrane transports Ca2+ to the site of bone formation. The aims of this study were to establish whether NCX exists in corals and its localization within coral cells, which are essential first steps to investigate its potential involvement in calcification. Data mining identified genes encoding for NCX proteins in multiple coral species, a subset of which were more closely related to NCXs from vertebrates (NCXA). We cloned NCXA from Acropora yongei (AyNCXA), which, unexpectedly, contained a peptide signal that targets proteins to vesicles from the secretory pathway. AyNCXA subcellular localization was confirmed by heterologous expression of fluorescently tagged AyNCXA protein in sea urchin embryos, which localized together with known markers of intracellular vesicles. Finally, immunolabeling of coral tissues with specific antibodies revealed AyNCXA was present throughout coral tissue. AyNCXA was especially abundant in calcifying cells, where it exhibited a subcellular localization pattern consistent with intracellular vesicles. Altogether, our results demonstrate AyNCXA is present in vesicles in coral calcifying cells, where potential functions include intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and Ca2+ transport to the growing skeleton as part of an intracellular calcification mechanism.

Bonito, LT, Hamdoun A, Sandin SA.  2016.  Evaluation of the global impacts of mitigation on persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic pollutants in marine fish. Peerj. 4   10.7717/peerj.1573   AbstractWebsite

Although persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic pollutants (PBTs) are well-studied individually their distribution and variability on a global scale are largely unknown particularly in marine fish. Using 2,662 measurements collected from peer-reviewed literature spanning 1969-2012, we examined variability of five classes of PBTs, considering effects of geography, habitat, and trophic level on observed concentrations. While we see large-scale spatial patterning in some PBTs (chlordanes, polychlorinated biphenyls), habitat type and trophic level did not contribute to significant patterning, with the exception of mercury. We further examined patterns of change in PBT concentration as a function of sampling year. All PBTs showed significant declines in concentration levels through time, ranging from 15-30% reduction per decade across PBT groups. Despite consistent evidence of reductions, variation in pollutant concentration remains high, indicating ongoing consumer risk of exposure to fish with pollutant levels exceeding EPA screening values. The temporal trends indicate that mitigation programs are leffective, but that global levels decline slowly. In order for monitoring efforts to provide more targeted assessments of risk to PBT exposure, these data highlight an urgent need for improved replication and standardization of pollutant monitoring protocols for marine finfish.

Bosnjak, I, Uhlinger KR, Heim W, Smital T, Franekic-Colic J, Coale K, Epel D, Hamdoun A.  2009.  Multidrug Efflux Transporters Limit Accumulation of Inorganic, but Not Organic, Mercury in Sea Urchin Embryos. Environmental Science & Technology. 43:8374-8380.   10.1021/es901677r   AbstractWebsite

Mercuric compounds are persistent global pollutants that accumulate in marine organisms and in humans who consume them. While the chemical cycles and speciation of mercury in the oceans are relatively well described, the cellular mechanisms that govern which forms of mercury accumulate in cells and why they persist are less understood. In this study we examined the role of multidrug efflux transport in the differential accumulation of inorganic (HgCl(2)) and organic (CH(3)HgCl) mercury in sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos. We found that inhibition of MRP/ABCC-type transporters increases intracellular accumulation of inorganic mercury but had no effect on accumulation of organic mercury. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of metal conjugating enzymes by ligands GST/GSH significantly increases this antimitotic potency of inorganic mercury, but had no effect on the potency of organic mercury. Our results point to MRP-mediated elimination of inorganic mercury conjugates as a cellular basis for differences in the accumulation and potency of the two major forms of mercury found in marine environments.