Genotoxicity of inorganic mercury salts based on disturbed microtubule function

Bonacker, Daniela, Stoiber, Thomas, Wang, Minsheng, Böhm, Konrad J., Prots, Irina, Unger, Eberhard, Thier, Ricarda, Bolt, Hermann M., & Degen, Gisela H. (2004) Genotoxicity of inorganic mercury salts based on disturbed microtubule function. Archives of Toxicology, 78(10), pp. 575-583.

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This study investigated the hypothesis that the chromosomal genotoxicity of inorganic mercury results from interaction(s) with cytoskeletal proteins. Effects of Hg2+ salts on functional activities of tubulin and kinesin were investigated by determining tubulin assembly and kinesin-driven motility in cell-free systems. Hg2+ inhibits microtubule assembly at concentrations above 1 μM, and inhibition is complete at about 10 μM. In this range, the tubulin assembly is fully (up to 6 μM) or partially (∼6-10 μM) reversible. The inhibition of tubulin assembly by mercury is independent of the anion, chloride or nitrate. The no-observed-effect- concentration for inhibition of microtubule assembly in vitro was 1 μM Hg2+, the IC50 5.8 μM. Mercury(II) salts at the IC 50 concentrations partly inhibiting tubulin assembly did not cause the formation of aberrant microtubule structures. Effects of mercury salts on the functionality of the microtubule motility apparatus were studied with the motor protein kinesin. By using a "gliding assay" mimicking intracellular movement and transport processes in vitro, HgCl2 affected the gliding velocity of paclitaxel-stabilised microtubules in a clear dose-dependent manner. An apparent effect is detected at a concentration of 0.1 μM and a complete inhibition is reached at 1 μM. Cytotoxicity of mercury chloride was studied in V79 cells using neutral red uptake, showing an influence above 17 μM HgCl2. Between 15 and 20 μM HgCl2 there was a steep increase in cell toxicity. Both mercury chloride and mercury nitrate induced micronuclei concentration-dependently, starting at concentrations above 0.01 μM. CREST analyses on micronuclei formation in V79 cells demonstrated both clastogenic (CREST-negative) and aneugenic effects of Hg2+, with some preponderance of aneugenicity. A morphological effect of high Hg2+ concentrations (100 μM HgCl2) on the microtubule cytoskeleton was verified in V79 cells by immuno-fluorescence staining. The overall data are consistent with the concept that the chromosomal genotoxicity could be due to interaction of Hg2+ with the motor protein kinesin mediating cellular transport processes. Interactions of Hg 2+ with the tubulin shown by in vitro investigations could also partly influence intracellular microtubule functions leading, together with the effects on the kinesin, to an impaired chromosome distribution as shown by the micronucleus test.

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48 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77446
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Chromosomal damage, Cytoskeleton, Genotoxicity, Kinesin, Mechanisms, Mercury, Micronuclei, Microtubules, Tubulin, animal tissue, article, cell motility, cellular distribution, chromosome loss, concentration response, controlled study, cytopathogenic effect, IC 50, immunofluorescence test, micronucleus, microtubule assembly, nonhuman, priority journal, protein assembly, protein determination, protein protein interaction, Animals, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Chromosomes, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Fibroblasts, Mercuric Chloride, Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective, Micronucleus Tests, Microscopy, Video, Microtubule Proteins, Molecular Motor Proteins, Mutagenesis, Mutagens, No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
DOI: 10.1007/s00204-004-0578-8
ISSN: 0340-5761
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 20 Oct 2014 23:46
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2014 04:22

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