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Title: Identifying Key Proteins in Hg Methylation Pathways of Desulfovibrio by Global Proteomics, Final Technical Report

Elemental mercury, Hg(0) is a contaminant at many DOE sites, especially at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where the spread of spilled Hg and its effects on microbial populations have been monitored for decades. To explore the microbial interactions with Hg, we have devised a global proteomic approach capable of directly detecting Hg-adducts of proteins. This technique developed in the facultative anaerobe, Escherichia coli, allows us to identify the proteins most vulnerable to acute exposure to organomercurials phenyl- and ethyl-mercury (as surrogates for the highly neurotoxic methyl-Hg) (Polacco, et al, 2011). We have found >300 such proteins in all metabolic functional groups and cellular compartments; most are highly conserved and can serve as markers for acute Hg exposure (Zink, et al. 2016, in preparation). We have also discovered that acute Hg exposure severely disrupts thiol, iron and redox homeostases, and electrolyte balance (LaVoie, et al., 2015) Thus, we proposed to bring these techniques to bear on the central problem of identifying the cellular proteins involved in bacterial uptake and methylation of mercury and its release from the cell.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Dept. of Microbiology
  2. Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States). Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  3. Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States); Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; mercury; methylmercury; proteomics; transcriptomics