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Proteomics in aquatic amphipods: Can it be used to determine mechanisms of toxicity and interspecies responses after exposure to atrazine?



Proteomics has gained popularity in the field of ecotoxicology as a holistic tool for unraveling novel mechanisms of toxicity and elucidating subtle effects of contaminant exposure. The holoarctic amphipod Diporeia spp. is declining at precipitous rates in the Great Lakes, and we are evaluating the use of the well-studied amphipod model Hyalella azteca as a surrogate for Diporeia spp. This article presents proteomics data from both amphipod species exposed to atrazine (ATZ) and one of its metabolites, desethylatrazine (DEA; 3 and 30 µg/L for 21 and 42 d). We used a proteomics approach to determine whether these two species of amphipods responded similarly to the same chemicals and to understand better the mechanisms of toxicity of ATZ and DEA in aquatic invertebrates. We observed disruption in energy production and mitochondrial function as well as hormesis in exposed organisms. In addition, we identified a two proteins (GAPDH and HSP 90 kDa) that have been linked to hormonal disruptions, suggesting potential endocrine disruption. Finally, we found that H. azteca and Diporeia spp. responded with similar proteomic profiles after ATZ and DEA exposure, suggesting that H. azteca may be used as a surrogate model organism for Diporeia spp. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:1197–1203. © 2011 SETAC