Profiling of the reactive oxygen species-related ecotoxicity of CuO, ZnO, TiO2, silver and fullerene nanoparticles using a set of recombinant luminescent Escherichia coli strains: differentiating the impact of particles and solubilised metals.Anal Bioanal Chem. 2010 Sep; 398(2):701-16.AB
We propose a novel combination of high-throughput luminescent bacterial tests for the evaluation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating potential of engineered nanoparticles (eNPs) and the role of solubilised metal ions in this process. The set of tests consists of differently engineered recombinant Escherichia coli strains: (1) a new sensor strain, which bioluminescence is induced by superoxide anions; (2) six recombinant E. coli strains (superoxide dismutase (sod) single, double and triple mutants and a respective wild-type strain), transformed with luxCDABE genes responding to toxic compounds by decreasing their luminescence; and (3) three strains in which bioluminescence is specifically induced by bioavailable metals (Cu, Zn and Ag). The applicability of this battery of tests in profiling oxidative potential of eNPs was evaluated on nTiO(2), nCuO, nZnO and nAg (25, 30, 70 and <100 nm, respectively) NPs and fullerenes. As controls for the size or solubility, the bulk formulations (bTiO(2), bCuO and bZnO) and soluble salts (ZnSO(4), CuSO(4) and AgNO(3)) were also analysed. Bacterial toxicity tests showed that nCuO was four-fold more toxic, and nAg was 15-fold more toxic to triple sod mutant than to wild type (2-h EC(50) values were 8.1 and 2.0 mg Cu l(-1), respectively, and 46 and 3.1 mg Ag l(-1), respectively). Formation of ROS by nCuO and nAg was proved by superoxide anion-inducible strain. The metal sensor bacteria showed that the ROS formation by CuO NPs was caused by solubilised Cu ions, but in case of nAg, particles also had an effect. nZnO was remarkably more toxic to sod triple mutant than to wild type strain (2-h EC(50) were 4.5 and 54 mg Zn l(-1), respectively). Fullerenes inhibited the bioluminescence of sod triple mutant at 3,882 mg l(-1) but had no effect on the wild-type strain even at 20,800 mg l(-1). Nano and bTiO(2) showed some effect on viability of bacteria only at high concentrations (>4,000 mg l(-1)) although nTiO(2) (but not bTiO(2)) induced the bioluminescence of the superoxide anion sensing bacteria starting from 100 mg l(-1). Thus, our innovative combined approach is expected to provide more consistent and informative data concerning the general toxicity, ROS-production potential and also solubilisation of metals in the case of metallic NPs.