Both methyl and ethylmercury are cytotoxic by oxidative stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Methyl and Ethylmercury elicit oxidative stress and unbalance the antioxidant system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Chem Biol Interact. 2019 Oct 28 ;315:108867. Epub 2019 Oct 28. PMID: 31672467
Methylmercury (MeHg) and Ethylmercury (EtHg) are toxic to the central nervous system. Human exposure to MeHg and EtHg results mainly from the consumption of contaminated fish and thimerosal-containing vaccines, respectively. The mechanisms underlying the toxicity of MeHg and EtHg are still elusive. Here, we compared the toxic effects of MeHg and EtHg in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) emphasizing the involvement of oxidative stress and the identification of molecular targets from antioxidant pathways. Wild type and mutant strains with deleted genes for antioxidant defenses, namely:γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, mitochondrial peroxiredoxin, cytoplasmic thioredoxin, and redox transcription factor Yap1 were used to identify potential pathways and proteins from cell redox system targeted by MeHg and EtHg. MeHg and EtHg inhibited cell growth, decreased membrane integrity, and increased the granularity and production of reactive species (RS) in wild type yeast. The mutants were predominantly less tolerant of mercurial than wild type yeast. But, as the wild strain, mutants exhibited higher tolerance to MeHg than EtHg. Our results indicate the involvement of oxidative stress in the cytotoxicity of MeHg and EtHg and reinforce S. cerevisiae as a suitable model to explore the mechanisms of action of electrophilic toxicants.