Advertisement

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 176–177 | Cite as

Involvement of mercury methylation in microbial mercury detoxication

  • Hidemitsu S. Pan-Hou
  • Nobumasa Imura
Short Communication

Abstract

A vitamin B12 requiring strain was isolated fromChlostridium cochlearium T-2 C which is known to synthesize various types of vitamin B12 including methylcobalamin and has an ability to methylate inorganic mercury. The vitamin B12 auxotroph lacking the mercury-methylating activity showed higher sensitivity to inorganic mercury than its original strain, while the sensitivity of both strains to methylmercury was relatively low and essentially the same. These data seem to present affirmative evidence to postulate the physiological role of methylcobalamin-dependent methylation of mercury to be a process of detoxication.

Key words

Methylation of mercury Detoxication of mercury Mercury sensitivity Vitamin B12 auxotroph Methylcobalamin Clostridium cochlearium 

Abbreviation

MNNG

N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine

References

  1. Akiba T, Ishii K (1952) Changes in the sulfhydryl content of resistant bacteria to chemotherapeutics. I. Studies on the resistant bacteria to thioloprives. Jap J Exp Med 22: 241–247Google Scholar
  2. Ellman GL (1959) Tissue sulfhydryl groups. Arch Biochem Biophys 82: 70–77PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Furukawa K, Tonomura K (1971) Enzyme system involved in the decomposition of phenylmercuric acetate by mercury-resistantPseudomonas. Agr Biol Chem 35: 604–610Google Scholar
  4. Hamdy MK, Noyes OR (1975) Formation of methylmercury by bacteria. Appl Microbiol 30: 424–432PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Horitsu H, Ito T (1980) Comparisons of characteristics of mercury tolerant bacteriumPseudomonas oleovorans G-1 and its mercury sensitive mutant strain. Agr Biol Chem 44: 2317–2322Google Scholar
  6. Imura N, Pan SK, Shimizu M, Ukida T, Tonomura K (1977) Formation and accumulation of methylmercury in organisms. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 1: 255–261PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Imura N, Miura K, Inokawa M, Nakada S (1980) Mechanism of methylmercury cytotoxicity. By biochemical and morphological experiments using cultured cells. Toxicol 17: 241–254PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Jensen S, Jernelöv A (1969) Biological methylation of mercury in aquatic organisms. Nature 223: 753–754PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Landner L (1971) Biochemical model for the biological methylation of mercury suggested from methylation studies in vivo withNeurospora crassa. Nature 230: 452–454PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Margeay M, Gerits J (1978) F′-plasmid transfer fromEscherichia coli toPseudomonas fluorescens. J Bacteriol 135: 18–28PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Nakada S, Nomoto A, Imura N (1980) Effect of methylmercury and inorganic mercury on protein synthesis in mammalian cells. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 4: 184–190PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Pan-Hou HSK, Hosono M, Imura N (1980) Plasmid-controlled mercury biotransformation byClostridium cochlearium T-2. Appl Environ Microbiol 40: 1007–1011PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Pan-Hou HSK, Imura N (1981) Role of hydrogen sulfide in mercury resistance determined by plasmid ofClostridium cochlearium T-2. Arch Microbiol 129: 49–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Pan-Hou HS, Nishimoto M, Imura N (1981) Possible role of membrane proteins in mercury resistance ofEnterobacter aerogenes. Arch Microbiol 130: 93–95PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Schottel JK (1978) The mercuric and organomercurials detoxifying enzymes from a plasmid-bearing strain ofEscherichia coli. J Biol Chem 253: 4341–4349PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Summers AO, Silver S (1978) Microbial transformation of metals. Ann Rev Microbiol 32: 637–672Google Scholar
  17. Vonk JW, Sijpesteijn AK (1973) Studies on the methylation of mercuric chloride by pure cultures of bacteria and fungi. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. J Microbiol Serol 39: 505–513Google Scholar
  18. Yamada M, Tonomura K (1971) Formation of methylmercury compounds from inorganic mercury byClostridium cochlearium. J Ferment Technol 50: 159–166Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hidemitsu S. Pan-Hou
    • 1
  • Nobumasa Imura
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKitasato University 9-1TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations