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Environ Int. 2004 Sep;30(7):873-82.

Stress-70 proteins in marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis as biomarkers of environmental pollution: a field study.

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  • 1Ruder Bosković Institute, Center for Marine Research, Laboratory for Marine Molecular Toxicology, G. Paliaga 5, HR-52210 Rovinj, Croatia.


In the present work we have investigated levels of stress-70 proteins in the gills of mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis collected seasonally from subtidal rocky shores at 6 different sites of the Rovinj coastal area (Northern Adriatic, Croatia). 1-D analysis (SDS-PAGE) using monoclonal mouse antibodies anti-HSP70 detected two bands of stress-70 proteins, 70 and 72 kDa constitutively present during the year. 2-D analysis (IEF+SDS-PAGE) proved that the antibodies used detected HSP70 (pI 5.7-5.9) and HSP72 (pI 5.5-5.6). The quantification of stress-70 proteins was possible using 200 ng of external HSP70 protein standard included on every blot. Maximal levels of HSP72 and HSP70 were observed in mussels in summer (September), and minimal levels in winter (December), and only HSP70 showed significant correlation with the sea temperature (r=+0.822, p<0.05). Acclimatization of mussels to a different lower salinity under experimental conditions proved that small changes in sea salinity (Delta=2 psu) could not cause significant stress-70 proteins induction. Results indicated that there are significant differences in HSP70 and HSP72 content in mussels from the control site (S-1) and mussels from other sampling sites with urban and industrial pollution. The usefulness of stress-70 proteins as biomarkers of environmental pollution is discussed.

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