Impacts of the combined exposure to seawater acidification and arsenic on the proteome of Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas

Highlights

• Different modes of action were observed in C. angulata and C. gigas exposed to different stressors.
• Combined exposures induced lower response capacity than single exposures.
• Species developed different modes of action in response to each stressor.

Abstract

Proteomic analysis was performed to compare the effects of Arsenic (As), seawater acidification (Low pH) and the combination of both stressors (Low pH + As) on Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas juveniles in the context of global environmental change. This study aimed to elucidate if two closely related Crassostrea species respond similarly to these environmental stressors, considering both single and combined exposures, to infer if the simultaneous exposure to both stressors induced a differentiated response. Identification of the most important differentially expressed proteins between conditions revealed marked differences in the response of each species towards single and combined exposures, evidencing species-related differences towards each experimental condition. Moreover, protein alterations observed in the combined exposure (Low pH + As) were substantially different from those observed in single exposures. Identified proteins and their putative biological functions revealed an array of modes of action in each condition. Among the most important, those involved in cellular structure (Actin, Atlastin, Severin, Gelsolin, Coronin) and extracellular matrix modulation (Ependymin, Tight junction ZO-1, Neprilysin) were strongly regulated, although in different exposure conditions and species. Data also revealed differences regarding metabolic modulation capacity (ATP β, Enolase, Aconitate hydratase) and oxidative stress response (Aldehyde dehydrogenase, Lactoylglutathione, Retinal dehydrogenase) of the species, which also depended on single or combined exposures, illustrating a different response capacity of both oyster species to the presence of multiple stressors. Interestingly, alterations of piRNA abundance in C. angulata suggested genome reconfiguration in response to multiple stressors, likely an important mode of action related to adaptive evolution mechanisms previously unknown to oyster species, which requires further investigation. Our findings provide a deeper insight into the complexity of C. angulata and C. gigas responses to environmental stress at the proteome level, evidencing different capacities to endure abiotic changes, with relevance regarding the ecophysiological fitness of the species and competitive advantages in a changing environment.

Moreira A., Figueira E., Mestre N. C., Schrama D., Soares A., Freitas R. & Bebianno M. J., in press. Impacts of the combined exposure to seawater acidification and arsenic on the proteome of Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas. Aquatic Toxicology. Article (subscription required).

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