Cellular toxicity pathways of mercury

Contamination by mercury is a worldwide concern because of Hg toxicity and biomagnification in aquatic food webs. Nevertheless, the bioavailability and cellular toxicity pathways of the two mercury species -inorganic and methylmercury- prevailing in the aquatic media remain poorly understood.  By using transcriptomic approach, we have shown that even at very low concentrations both mercury species dysregulate a larger number of genes. These genes are involved in diverse processes including photosynthesis and transport of essential elements. For comparable cellular concentrations, the methylmercury dysregulated larger number of genes and the intensity of the effect was stronger as compared with inorganic mercury. This knowledge is important for the development of early warning assessment of Hg to the aquatic environment.

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August 22, 2017

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