The Mode of Action of Isocyanide in Three Aquatic Organisms, Balanus amphitrite, Bugula neritina and Danio rerio

Yi-Fan Zhang, Yoshikazu Kitano, Yasuyuki Nogata, Yu Zhang, Pei-Yuan Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Isocyanide is a potential antifouling compound in marine environments. In this study, we investigated its mode of action in three aquatic organisms. Two of them, the bryozoan Bugula neritina and the barnacle Balanus amphitrite, are major marine fouling invertebrates, and the other organism is the non-target species zebrafish Danio rerio. In the swimming larvae of B. neritina, isocyanide did not affect the total attachment rate (≤50 µg ml^(−1)), but it did change the attachment site by increasing the percentage of attachment on the bottom of the container rather than on the wall or air-water inter-surface. Isocyanide binds several proteins in B. neritina as identified via SDS-PAGE-LC-MS/MS: 1) a 30 kD protein band containing two proteins similar to voltage dependent anion channels (VDAC), which control the direct coupling of the mitochondrial matrix to the energy maintenance of the cytosol and the release of apoptogenic factors from mitochondria of mammalian cells; and 2) an unknown 39 kD protein. In B. amphitrite cyprids, the isocyanide binding protein were 1) a protein similar to NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase, which is the “entry enzyme” of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria; and 2) cytochrome P450. In Danio rerio embryos, isocyanide caused “wavy” notochords, hydrocephalus, pericardial edema, poor blood circulation, and defects in pigmentation and hematopoiesis, which phenocopied copper deficiency. This is the first report on isocyanide binding proteins in fouling organisms, as well as the first description of its phenotype and potential toxicology in zebrafish.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e45442
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): SA-C0040, UK-C0016
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by a research grant (DY125-15-T-02) from China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association, an award from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (SA-C0040/UK-C0016) and grants from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (N_HKUST602/09 and AoE/P-04/04-II) to Pei-Yuan Qian. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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