, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 53-64
Date: 28 Jul 2004

Characterisation and expression of four mRNA sequences encoding glutathione S-transferases pi, mu, omega and sigma classes in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas exposed to hydrocarbons and pesticides

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Hydrocarbon and pesticide pollution in coastal ecosystems can disturb marine bivalve metabolism. In this study, we characterised four full-length cDNA sequences encoding glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. A BLAST X search showed that these four sequences encode GSTs from four different classes: GST pi, sigma, mu and omega. A phylogenetic analysis of GST was made to determine the position of oyster GST compared to invertebrate and vertebrate sequences. We developed a semi-quantitative, multiplex RT-PCR to follow the expression of these four GSTs in tissues of oysters exposed to hydrocarbons and two pesticide treatments (glyphosate and a mixture composed of atrazine, diuron and isoproturon) under experimental conditions. Our results showed strong differential expression of these four GSTs that was both tissue specific as well as time and treatment dependent. We observed that expression levels were higher in digestive gland than in gill tissues in pesticide-exposed oysters. Furthermore, omega and mu class GST mRNA expression in the digestive gland might be useful as a possible marker of hydrocarbon exposure, while pi and sigma class GST mRNA expression in the digestive gland may be similarly useful as a marker of pesticide exposure in monitoring programmes.

Communicated by S.A. Poulet, Roscoff