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The sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) is the likely molecular target for the acute toxicity of the brominated flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD).Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a widely utilised brominated flame retardant (BFR). It has been shown to bio-accumulate within organisms, including man, and possibly cause neurological disorders. The acute neurotoxicity of HBCD, and six other unrelated BFRs, were assessed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells by 24h viability assays and HBCD proved to be the most lethal (LC50, 3μM). In addition, the effects of these BFRs were also assessed for their potency at inhibiting the sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA) derived from the SH-SY5Y cells and again HBCD was the most potent (IC50, 2.7μM). The data for the other BFRs tested showed a direct correlation (coefficient 0.94) between the potencies of inducing cell death and inhibiting the Ca(2+) ATPase, indicating that SERCA is likely to be the molecular target for acute toxicity. Mechanistic studies of HBCD on the Ca(2+) ATPase suggest that it affects ATP binding, phosphorylation as well as the E2 to E1 transition step.
A Systems Biology Approach Reveals a Calcium-Dependent Mechanism for Basal Toxicity in Daphnia magna.The expanding diversity and ever increasing amounts of man-made chemicals discharged to the environment pose largely unknown hazards to ecosystem and human health. The concept of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) emerged as a comprehensive framework for risk assessment. However, the limited mechanistic information available for most chemicals and a lack of biological pathway annotation in many species represent significant challenges to effective implementation of this approach. Here, a systems level, multistep modeling strategy demonstrates how to integrate information on chemical structure with mechanistic insight from genomic studies, and phenotypic effects to define a putative adverse outcome pathway. Results indicated that transcriptional changes indicative of intracellular calcium mobilization were significantly overrepresented in Daphnia magna (DM) exposed to sublethal doses of presumed narcotic chemicals with log Kow ≥ 1.8. Treatment of DM with a calcium ATPase pump inhibitor substantially recapitulated the common transcriptional changes. We hypothesize that calcium mobilization is a potential key molecular initiating event in DM basal (narcosis) toxicity. Heart beat rate analysis and metabolome analysis indicated sublethal effects consistent with perturbations of calcium preceding overt acute toxicity. Together, the results indicate that altered calcium homeostasis may be a key early event in basal toxicity or narcosis induced by lipophilic compounds.