Benzo(a)pyrene Induces CYP1A and p53 Expression in Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)

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Name: Gracie Park
Major: Biology
Advisors: Rebecca Williams; Erzsebet Regan (second reader)

Research Supported by the Copeland Fund

Exposure to the environmental contaminant benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) increases health risks. This study investigated the effect of BaP on the expression of cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) and tumor suppressor protein p53 in brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus). Fish were exposed to three different doses of BaP (0 mg, 6 × 10–6 µg, and 0.225 mg) every other day for a week, and liver and gill tissues were collected for western blot analysis of CYP1A and p53 protein levels. Results showed that high-dose BaP (0.225 mg) exposure significantly upregulated CYP1A protein in both liver and gill tissues (21.291X and 7.692X, respectively), indicating induction of a known detoxification system. In contrast, high-dose BaP exposure (0.225 mg) only upregulated p53 protein expression in the gills (35.38X), suggesting tissue-specific effects of BaP. These findings suggest that brown bullhead can serve as a model for screening the effect of biological exposure to BaP. Additionally, the study also observed an increase in tricaine methane sulfonate (MS-222) tolerance in fish exposed to high doses of BaP, which may be attributed to increased CYP1A expression and detoxification capacity. Overall, this study provides insight into the mechanism of BaP toxicity, CYP1A and p53 response, and further validates the importance of monitoring its environmental levels and potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems.


Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 13, 2023.

One response to “Benzo(a)pyrene Induces CYP1A and p53 Expression in Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)”

  1. Dr. Williams says:

    Great work Gracie! Best of luck today!