Organohalogens Naturally Biosynthesized in Marine Environments and Produced as Disinfection Byproducts Alter Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Dynamics

Jing Zheng, Shaun M.K. McKinnie, Abrahim El Gamal, Wei Feng, Yao Dong, Vinayak Agarwal, William Fenical, Abdhesh Kumar, Zhengyu Cao, Bradley S. Moore, Isaac N Pessah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Contemporary sources of organohalogens produced as disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are receiving considerable attention as emerging pollutants because of their abundance, persistence, and potential to structurally mimic natural organohalogens produced by bacteria that serve signaling or toxicological functions in marine environments. Here, we tested 34 organohalogens from anthropogenic and marine sources to identify compounds active toward ryanodine receptor (RyR1), known toxicological targets of non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). [3H]Ryanodine ([3H]Ry) binding screening (≤2 μM) identified 10 highly active organohalogens. Further analysis indicated that 2,3-dibromoindole (14), tetrabromopyrrole (31), and 2,3,5-tribromopyrrole (34) at 10 μM were the most efficacious at enhancing [3H]Ry binding. Interestingly, these congeners also inhibited microsomal sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER) Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA1a). Dual SERCA1a inhibition and RyR1 activation triggered Ca2+ efflux from microsomal vesicles with initial rates rank ordered 31 > 34 > 14. Hexabromobipyrroles (25) enhanced [3H]Ry binding moderately with strong SERCA1a inhibition, whereas pyrrole (24), 2,3,4-tribromopyrrole (26), and ethyl-4-bromopyrrole-2-carboxylate (27) were inactive. Of three PBDE derivatives of marine origin active in the [3H]Ry assay, 4′-hydroxy-2,3′,4,5′,6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (18) was also a highly potent SERCA1a inhibitor. Molecular targets of marine organohalogens that are also DBPs of emerging environmental concern are likely to contribute to their toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5469-5478
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this