Evaluation of the Effect of Selected Brominated Flame Retardants on Human Serum Albumin and Human Erythrocyte Membrane Proteins
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been using to reduce the flammability of plastics contained in many products, such as household articles, furniture, mattresses, textiles or insulation. Considering the fact that these compounds may be released into the environment leading to the exposure of living organisms, it is necessary to study their possible effects and mechanisms of action. Proteins play a crucial role in all biological processes. For this reason, a simple model of human serum
... of human serum albumin (HSA) was chosen to study the mechanism of BFRs' effect on proteins. The study determined interactions between selected BFRs, i.e., tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), tetrabromobisphenol S (TBBPS), 2,4-dibromophenol (2,4-DBP), 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP) and pentabromophenol (PBP), and HSA by measurement of fluorescence of intrinsic tryptophan and absorbance of circular dichroism (CD). In addition, in order to understand the possible effect of these compounds in their native environment, the effect of BFRs on membrane proteins of human erythrocytes (red blood cells, RBCs) was also assessed. Among bromophenols, PBP had the strongest oxidative effect on RBC membrane, and 2,4-DBP demonstrated the weakest fluorescence-quenching effect of both membrane tryptophan and HSA. By contrast to PBP, 2,4-DBP and 2,4,6-TBP caused spatial changes of HSA. We have observed that among all analyzed BFRs, TBBPA caused the strongest oxidation of RBC membrane proteins and the model HSA protein, causing reduction of fluorescence of tryptophan contained in them. TBBPA also changed albumin conformation properties, leading to impairment of the α-helix structure. However, TBBPS had the weakest oxidative effect on proteins among studied BFRs and did not affect the secondary structure of HSA.