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Ecotoxicology. 2008 Apr;17(3):213-20. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

Proteomic study of the effects of complex environmental stresses in the livers of goldfish (Carassius auratus) that inhabit Gaobeidian Lake in Beijing, China.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, P.R. China.


Recent advances in proteomics have provided an excellent opportunity to understand biological adaptation under complex environmental stress at the protein level. Gaobeidian Lake, located in Beijing, China, is characterized by complex environmental stresses by serving as both the effluent of a wastewater treatment plant and a coolant of a nearby thermal power plant. Liver is the primary organ of energy metabolism and xenobiotic detoxification. To further our understanding of how organisms that live in Gaobeidian Lake acclimatize themselves to these complex environmental stresses, hepatic protein expression patterns were examined in goldfish Carassius auratus that inhabit the lake. Huairou Reservoir, a drinking water source, was used as a reference site. Twenty four protein spots, which were differently expressed in the two sites, were further digested with trypsin and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (TOF/TOF). The expression of several energy metabolism and oxidative stress proteins, such as glutathione peroxidase (GPx), ferritin H3, and liver basic fatty acid-binding protein (Lb-FABP) were found to be altered in this stressful environment. In addition to the up-regulation of GPx translation, both the mRNA levels and enzymatic activity of GPx protein were elevated in goldfish living in Gaobeidian Lake. The expression of both peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR), one of the most important metabolism and stress regulation genes as well as cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1), a detoxification gene, was also detected by real-time PCR at the two sites. Increased expression levels of both PPAR-beta and CYP1A1 (P < 0.1) were observed in Gaobeidian Lake. Our study provides an integrative view of the expression levels of hepatic proteins and genes in goldfish under complex environmental stress that live in Gaobeidian Lake. Our results showed that anthropogenic environmental stresses in Gaobeidian Lake activated the regulation gene of lipid metabolism PPAR, elevated the lipid metabolism levels, and activated the anti-oxidative adaptation mechanism of organisms in the lake.

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