This study aimed to assess the ecotoxicological effects of the interaction of fullerene (C60) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) on the marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. The uptake of nC60, B[a]P and mixtures of nC60 and B[a]P into tissues was confirmed by GC-MS, LC-HRMS and ICP-MS. Biomarkers of DNA damage as well as proteomics analysis were applied to unravel the toxic effect of B[a]P and C60. Antagonistic responses were observed at the genotoxic and proteomic level. Differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were only identified in the B[a]P single exposure and the B[a]P mixture exposure groups containing 1 mg/L of C60, the majority of which were down-regulated (~52%). No DEPs were identified at any of the concentrations of nC60 (p < 0.05, 1% FDR). Using DEPs identified at a threshold of (p < 0.05; B[a]P and B[a]P mixture with nC60), gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that these proteins were enriched with a broad spectrum of biological processes and pathways, including those broadly associated with protein processing, cellular processes and environmental information processing. Among those significantly enriched pathways, the ribosome was consistently the top enriched term irrespective of treatment or concentration and plays an important role as the site of biological protein synthesis and translation. Our results demonstrate the complex multi-modal response to environmental stressors in M. galloprovincialis.
Trojan Horse effect; B[a]P; nC60; co-exposure; Mussels; DNA damage; proteomics
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