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Transporter-interfering chemicals inhibit P-glycoprotein of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares).


Marine pollutants bioaccumulate at high trophic levels of marine food webs and are transferred to humans through consumption of apex species. Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are marine predators, and one of largest commercial fisheries in the world. Previous studies have shown that yellowfin tuna can accumulate high levels of persistent organic pollutants, including Transporter Interfering Chemicals (TICs), which are chemicals shown to bind to mammalian xenobiotic transporters and interfere with their function. Here, we examined the extent to which these same compounds might interfere with the activity of the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) ortholog of this transporter. To accomplish this goal we identified, expressed, and functionally assayed tuna ABCB1. The results demonstrated a common mode of vertebrate ABCB1 interaction with TICs that predicts effects across these species, based on high conservation of specific interacting residues. Importantly several TICs showed potent inhibition of Ta-ABCB1, such as the organochlorine pesticides Endrin (EC50 = 1.2 ± 0.2 μM) and Mirex (EC50 = 2.3 ± 0.9 μM). However, unlike the effects observed on mouse ABCB1, low concentrations of the organochlorine pesticide TICs p,p'-DDT and its metabolite p,p'-DDD co-stimulated verapamil-induced Ta-ABCB1 ATPase activity possibly suggesting a low transport activity for these ligands in tuna. These results provide a mechanistic basis for understanding the potential vulnerability of tuna to these ubquitous pollutants.

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