The cytoplasmic thioredoxin system in Caenorhabditis elegans affords protection from methylmercury in an age-specific manner

Joanna A. Ruszkiewicz, Gabriel Teixeira de Macedo, Antonio Miranda-Vizuete, João B. Teixeira da Rocha, Aaron B. Bowman, Julia Bornhorst, Tanja Schwerdtle, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental pollutant linked to many neurological defects, especially in developing individuals. The thioredoxin (TRX) system is a key redox regulator affected by MeHg toxicity, however the mechanisms and consequences of MeHg-induced dysfunction are not completely understood. This study evaluated the role of the TRX system in C. elegans susceptibility to MeHg during development. Worms lacking or overexpressing proteins from the TRX family were exposed to MeHg for 1 h at different developmental stage: L1, L4 and adult. Worms without cytoplasmic thioredoxin system exhibited age-specific susceptibility to MeHg when compared to wild-type (wt). This susceptibility corresponded partially to decreased total glutathione (GSH) levels and enhanced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In contrast, the overexpression of the cytoplasmic system TRX-1/TRXR-1 did not provide substantial protection against MeHg. Moreover, transgenic worms exhibited decreased protein expression for cytoplasmic thioredoxin reductase (TRXR-1). Both mitochondrial thioredoxin system TRX-2/TRXR-2, as well as other thioredoxin-like proteins: TRX-3, TRX-4, TRX-5 did not show significant role in C. elegans resistance to MeHg. Based on the current findings, the cytoplasmic thioredoxin system TRX-1/TRXR-1 emerges as an important age-sensitive protectant against MeHg toxicity in C. elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalNeuroToxicology
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Keywords

  • Age
  • C. elegans
  • Development
  • Methylmercury
  • Thioredoxin
  • Thioredoxin reductase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology

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