Citation Zacchino V, Minghetti M, Centoducati G & Leaver M (2012) Diablo/SMAC: A novel biomarker of pollutant exposure in European flounder (Platichthys flesus), Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 79, pp. 176-183.
Abstract Diablo (or SMAC) is a protein released from mitochondria following apoptotic stimuli and inhibits the actions of Inhibitors of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins. IAPs regulate the activity of caspases and NFkB, the primary executioners of apoptosis and of inflammation respectively. Thus, Diablo is important for the regulation of cellular responses to damage. In Northern Europe, statutory governmental marine monitoring programs measure various biomarkers in flounder to indicate biological effects of pollutant exposure. More recently transcriptomic techniques have been applied in flounder to gain a more comprehensive understanding of pollutant effects, and to discover novel biomarkers. In most of these studies utilising flounder, Diablo was amongst the most highly increased transcripts identified. The aim of this study was to further examine piscine Diablo, at the gene level and mRNA level, after exposure to prototypical pollutants, and in flounder caught from polluted environments. The results show that two genes encoding Diablo exist in fish species, and in flounder one of these genes is increased in liver after exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls, and also in livers from fish living on contaminated estuarine sediments. Therefore, Diablo measurement has potential as a biomarker of pollutant exposure, and could indicate damaging effects of chemical contaminants.