Isolation of a Phthalate Ester Hydrolyzing Enzyme from the Brine Shrimp, Artemia Salina
Giancarlo, Thomas II
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Phthalate esters in low concentrations are quite toxic to the newly hatched larvae of the brine shrimp, Artemia salina. It has recently been demonstrated in this laboratory that within a few hours after exposure to di-n-butyl phthalate ester, the organism concentrates the compound ca. one hundred-fold over concentrations initially present in the aqueous medium; subsequent to this accumulation, phthalate esters are rapidly hydrolyzed by an enzyme. present in the brine shrimp. Aqueous extracts obtained from homogenized shrimp contain most of this phthalate hydrolyzing activity, which appears to develope between 12-24 hours after emergence of the embryo from its chitinous shell. This is the same period in which toxicity occurs. The long term goal of this study is to determine the basis of phthalate ester hydrolysis and its possible relationship to toxicity. Initial efforts directed toward that end included the preliminary isolation/purification by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose of the enzyme(s) responsible for the hydrolysis of the di-n-butyl phthalate ester. All evidence indicated the presence of a unique "phthalatase."