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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biotransformation of genotoxic agents in marine sponges. Mechanisms and modulation.

Marine sponges do not appear to suffer from neoplastic diseases, in spite of possible high exposures resulting from their nature as sessile bottom filter feeders which pump large volumes of sea water. The assessment of several parameters related to the biotransformation of mutagens/carcinogens showed that the metabolic machinery of sponge medulla cells is mainly oriented towards detoxification, with some differences depending on species (Geodia cydonium or Tethya aurantium). Glutathione (GSH) levels were unexpectedly high in these cells, especially in Geodia, in which the concentration of this tripeptide was more than twice that measured in liver preparations from untreated rats, at least when related to the protein content. The oxidoreductive enzyme activities involved in the glutathione cycle were balanced in such a way as to favour a high GSH: oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio. GSH S-transferase activity was conversely rather low, compared to that of rat liver, and the dehydrogenases involved in the hexose monophosphate shunt were high in Tethya but low in Geodia. The metabolism of mutagens was investigated by using the Salmonella typhimurium his- strains TA100, TA98 and YG1024. Sponge S12 fractions failed to activate aflatoxin B1, benzo[a]pyrene and the two heterocyclic amines 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole and 2-amino-3,4-dimethyl-imidazo[4,5-f]quinoline. Although far less efficiently than untreated rat liver S12 fractions, Geodia and especially Tethya preparations weakly activated the three aromatic amines 2-acetyl-aminofluorene, 2-aminofluorene and 2-aminoanthracene. On the other hand, sponge S12 fractions were remarkably efficient in decreasing the mutagenic potency of the direct-acting mutagens 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide and sodium dichromate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Biotransformation of genotoxic agents in marine sponges. Mechanisms and modulation. De Flora, S., Bagnasco, M., Bennicelli, C., Camoirano, A., Bojnemirski, A., Kurelec, B. Mutagenesis (1995) [Pubmed]
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