Examination of tissue metal burdens and metal binding proteins in the golden king crab lithodes aequispina benedict from alice arm and hastings arm british columbia canada

Thompson, J.A.J.; Nassichuk, M.D.; Paton, D.W.; Reid, B.J.; Farrell, M.A.

Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 1440: I-VI, 1-44


Accession: 005415990

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Gill, muscle and hepatopancreas tissues from the Golden King Crab (L. aequispina Benedict) collected from two sites in Alice Arm and from four sites in Hastings Arm, British Columbia were analysed for burdens of 32 elements by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. Data for six elements: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, molybdenum and zinc were chosen for detailed examination owing to their importance in relation to mine tailings discharge from the AMAX molybdenum facility in Alice Arm. Hepatopancreas tissue from each specimen was also analysed for metal-binding protein content using differential pulse polarography. Molecular weight distribution of the cytosolic proteins was determined by gel-permeation chromatography and polarography. Data were examined statistically using ANOVA Student's 't' and Student-Newman-Keuls analyses. Significantly greater (p=0.05) concentrations of copper and zinc were found in hepatopancreas of reference (Hastings Arm) specimens; whereas gill tissues from Alice Arm specimens demonstrated significantly higher lead and molybdenum burdens. Metal-binding protein concentrations were uniformly high, regardless of site and ranged from 6.8 to 18.8 g kg. Gel-permeation chromatograms of natural and ethanol-denatured hepatopancreatic cytosols suggest that the principal metal-binding component has a molecular mass of ca. 35 000 daltons. Analysis of chromatographic fractions for Cd, Cu and Zn indicate that Cd is the principal metal associated with the protein.