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J Biosci Bioeng. 2004;97(3):212-5.

Production of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide by the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Higashi, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


We found that the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi (Gymnodinium mikimotoi) generates reactive oxygen species (ROS). In chemiluminescence analysis using an O2- specific probe, a slightly lower but significant level of O2- was detected in a K. mikimotoi cell suspension as compared to one containing Chattonella marina, a well-known ROS-producing red tide phytoplankton. Interestingly, the chemiluminescence response pattern caused by K. mikimotoi was different from that of C. marina, although both responses were almost completely abolished in the presence of superoxide dismutase (SOD). By fluorescence spectrophotometric analysis, H2O2 was also detected in the K. mikimotoi cell suspension, but the level of H2O2 was approximately 10% of that in the C. marina suspension based on the cell number. No significant increase in O2- generation by K. mikimotoi was observed in the presence of lectins such as concanavalin A (Con A) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) or fish mucus substances prepared from the skin and gills of yellowtail, whereas C. marina generated an increased level of O2- in response to these stimuli. Furthermore, O2- production in C. marina, but not in K. mikimotoi, was inhibited by treatment with proteinase K.

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