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MeSH Review

Chemical Warfare

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Disease relevance of Chemical Warfare

  • Pseudomonas putida KT2442 was engineered to use the organophosphate pesticide parathion, a compound similar to other organophosphate pesticides and chemical warfare agents, as a source of carbon and energy [1].
  • Recombinant Escherichia coli cells expressing organophosphate hydrolase (OPH, E.C., an important enzyme for the detection and decontamination of neurotoxic pesticides and chemical warfare agents, were subjected to electron beam irradiation to gauge its effect on enzymatic activity, cell viability and DNA recoverability [2].
  • Thus, transcriptional inducers, such as TSA, up-regulate AChE, which then can scavenge the OP and protect the cells from OP-induced toxicity, and are potential novel ways to treat chemical warfare nerve agent (CWNA) exposure [3].
  • In this paper we will attempt to answer the question, "What is Yellow Rain?", summarize some of the massive data on microtoxins and mycotoxicoses, discuss the toxicology of the trichothecenes, give a brief historical perspective on chemical warfare, and touch on some of the political implications of these developments [4].

High impact information on Chemical Warfare


Biological context of Chemical Warfare


Associations of Chemical Warfare with chemical compounds


Gene context of Chemical Warfare

  • Phosphorus oxychloride (POCl(3)) is an intermediate in the synthesis of many organophosphorus insecticides and chemical warfare nerve gases that are toxic to insects and mammals by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity [19].
  • Recent studies examining the involvement of PON1 status in determining OP susceptibility of Gulf War veterans, sheep dippers, and individuals poisoned with chemical warfare agents represent a step in the right direction, but more studies are needed, with better documentation of both the level of exposure and the consequences of exposure [20].
  • Correlating with the AChE induction, TSA pre-treatment significantly protected the cells against exposure to the organophosphate diisopropylfluorophosphate, a surrogate for the chemical warfare agents soman and sarin [21].
  • SIMPLISMA and ALS applied to two-way nonlinear wavelet compressed ion mobility spectra of chemical warfare agent simulants [22].
  • Phosphotriesterase homology protein (PHP) is a member of a recently discovered family of proteins related to phosphotriesterase, a hydrolytic, bacterial enzyme with an unusual substrate specificity for synthetic organophosphate triesters and phosphorofluoridates, which are common constituents of chemical warfare agents and agricultural pesticides [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Chemical Warfare


  1. Metabolic engineering of Pseudomonas putida for the utilization of parathion as a carbon and energy source. Walker, A.W., Keasling, J.D. Biotechnol. Bioeng. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Electron beam irradiation as protection against the environmental release of recombinant molecules for biomaterials applications. Gold, R.S., Maxim, J., Halepaska, D.J., Wales, M.E., Johnson, D.A., Wild, J.R. Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Transcriptional induction of cholinesterase expression and protection against chemical warfare nerve agents. Nambiar, M.P., Curtin, B.F., Pal, N., Compton, J.R., Doctor, B.P., Gordon, R.K. Chem. Biol. Interact. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Yellow rain: chemical warfare in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan. Spyker, M.S., Spyker, D.A. Veterinary and human toxicology. (1983) [Pubmed]
  5. Loss of neuropathy target esterase in mice links organophosphate exposure to hyperactivity. Winrow, C.J., Hemming, M.L., Allen, D.M., Quistad, G.B., Casida, J.E., Barlow, C. Nat. Genet. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Pyridostigmine brain penetration under stress enhances neuronal excitability and induces early immediate transcriptional response. Friedman, A., Kaufer, D., Shemer, J., Hendler, I., Soreq, H., Tur-Kaspa, I. Nat. Med. (1996) [Pubmed]
  7. A brain detoxifying enzyme for organophosphorus nerve poisons. Nomura, D.K., Leung, D., Chiang, K.P., Quistad, G.B., Cravatt, B.F., Casida, J.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Mass spectral analysis of chloropicrin under negative ion chemical ionization conditions. Murty, M.R., Prabhakar, S., Lakshmi, V.V., Saradhi, U.V., Reddy, T.J., Vairamani, M. Anal. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  9. Atmospheric pressure ionization in a miniature mass spectrometer. Laughlin, B.C., Mulligan, C.C., Cooks, R.G. Anal. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Modification of near active site residues in organophosphorus hydrolase reduces metal stoichiometry and alters substrate specificity. diSioudi, B., Grimsley, J.K., Lai, K., Wild, J.R. Biochemistry (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Extraction of thiodiglycol from soil using pressurised liquid extraction. Beck, N.V., Carrick, W.A., Cooper, D.B., Muir, B. Journal of chromatography. A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. Reduced sulfur mustard-induced skin toxicity in cyclooxygenase-2 knockout and celecoxib-treated mice. Wormser, U., Langenbach, R., Peddada, S., Sintov, A., Brodsky, B., Nyska, A. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  13. Chemical-warfare techniques for insect control: insect 'pests' in Germany before and after World War I. Jansen, S. Endeavour. (2000) [Pubmed]
  14. Novel S-substituted aminoalkylamino ethanethiols as potential antidotes against sulfur mustard toxicity. Pathak, U., Raza, S.K., Kulkarni, A.S., Vijayaraghvan, R., Kumar, P., Jaiswal, D.K. J. Med. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  15. Two-dimensional nonlinear wavelet compression of ion mobility spectra of chemical warfare agent simulants. Cao, L., Harrington, P.d.e. .B., Liu, C. Anal. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  16. Analytical performance of a miniature cylindrical ion trap mass spectrometer. Riter, L.S., Peng, Y., Noll, R.J., Patterson, G.E., Aggerholm, T., Cooks, R.G. Anal. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  17. Extraction of nerve agent VX from soils. Montauban, C., Bégos, A., Bellier, B. Anal. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  18. Potentiometric sensing of chemical warfare agents: surface imprinted polymer integrated with an indium tin oxide electrode. Zhou, Y., Yu, B., Shiu, E., Levon, K. Anal. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  19. Phosphoacetylcholinesterase: toxicity of phosphorus oxychloride to mammals and insects that can be attributed to selective phosphorylation of acetylcholinesterase by phosphorodichloridic acid. Quistad, G.B., Zhang, N., Sparks, S.E., Casida, J.E. Chem. Res. Toxicol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  20. Polymorphisms of paraoxonase (PON1) and their significance in clinical toxicology of organophosphates. Costa, L.G., Cole, T.B., Furlong, C.E. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  21. Histone acetylase inhibitor trichostatin A induces acetylcholinesterase expression and protects against organophosphate exposure. Curtin, B.F., Tetz, L.M., Compton, J.R., Doctor, B.P., Gordon, R.K., Nambiar, M.P. J. Cell. Biochem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  22. SIMPLISMA and ALS applied to two-way nonlinear wavelet compressed ion mobility spectra of chemical warfare agent simulants. Cao, L., de B Harrington, P., Liu, J. Anal. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  23. Biochemical characterization and crystallographic structure of an Escherichia coli protein from the phosphotriesterase gene family. Buchbinder, J.L., Stephenson, R.C., Dresser, M.J., Pitera, J.W., Scanlan, T.S., Fletterick, R.J. Biochemistry (1998) [Pubmed]
  24. High-sensitivity determination of the degradation products of chemical warfare agents by capillary electrophoresis-indirect UV absorbance detection. Melanson, J.E., Wong, B.L., Boulet, C.A., Lucy, C.A. Journal of chromatography. A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  25. Genotoxicity of the phosphoramidate agent tabun (GA). Wilson, B.W., Kawakami, T.G., Cone, N., Henderson, J.D., Rosenblatt, L.S., Goldman, M., Dacre, J.C. Toxicology (1994) [Pubmed]
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