The Nrf2 molecule trigger antioxidant defense against acute benzo(a)pyrene exposure in the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus.Aquat Toxicol. 2020 Jul 03; 226:105554.AT
The NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), an ubiquitous, evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, acts as a major sensor of oxidative stress in cells. In the present study, a Nrf2 homolog was newly identified in the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus. Accordingly, its functional role in antioxidant defense in response to acute benzo(a)pyrene (Bap) exposure was assessed. The newly identified McNrf2 affiliated to traditional Nrf2 family through Blast, multiple alignment and phylogenetic analysis. After acute exposure to Bap, antioxidants including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathine reductase (GR) were significantly induced in gills and digestive glands at both mRNA and enzymatic levels, and the expression of McNrf2 mRNA was also up-regulated. The analysis of correlating the expression of McNrf2 and the mRNA levels of these antioxidant genes showed positive ties, indicating that Nrf2 was needed for protracted induction of such genes. Further, the recombinant McNrf2 was produced through pET-32a prokaryotic system. After 50 μg/L Bap exposure, ROS generation and LPO level in gills of Nrf2 over-expressed mussels significantly decreased compared to Nrf2 wild-type mussels, as well as reduced ROS production in digestive glands. Collectively, these results show that Nrf2 pathway can provide protection from oxidative stress triggered by Bap in the thick shell mussel.