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Toxicol Sci. 2009 Aug;110(2):334-40. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfp111. Epub 2009 May 27.

Protein profiles in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China.


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is widely distributed and persistent in the environment and in wildlife, and it has the potential for developmental toxicity. However, the molecular mechanisms that lead to these toxic effects are not well known. In the present study, proteomic analysis has been performed to investigate the proteins that are differentially expressed in zebrafish embryos exposed to 0.5 mg/l PFOS until 192 h postfertilization. Two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry was employed to detect and identify the protein profiles. The analysis revealed that 69 proteins showed altered expression in the treatment group compared to the control group with either increase or decrease in expression levels (more than twofold difference). Of the 69 spots corresponding to the proteins with altered expression, 38 were selected and subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF/TOF) analysis; 18 proteins were identified in this analysis. These proteins can be categorized into diverse functional classes such as detoxification, energy metabolism, lipid transport/steroid metabolic process, cell structure, signal transduction, and apoptosis. Overall, proteomic analysis using zebrafish embryos serves as an in vivo model in environmental risk assessment and provides insight into the molecular events in PFOS-induced developmental toxicity.

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