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[en] The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that controls expression of various genes including cytochrome P450. Polynuclear aromatic and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons are agonists for the AhR in fish and mammalian species. Previously, a homologous AhR has not been identified in marine invertebrate species. Chemosynthetic mussels were collected from gas and petroleum seeps in the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the presence of the AhR and the induction of the cytochrome P450 system. Aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and glutathione S-transferase activities in the gill and hepatopancreas were elevated in the petroleum seep mussels relative to those from the gas seep. A nuclear AhR in the hepatopancreas was detected in both mussel populations after treatment with [3H]-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (tcdd) followed by sucrose density gradient analysis. Gel mobility shift assays using a labeled dioxin responsive element (DRE) oligonucleotide and tcdd-transformed mussel cytosol showed a retarded band which could be competed with excess unlabeled DRE. Results from gel shifts indicated specific binding of the tcdd-mussel AhR complex to its responsible element. Finally, PCR primers designed to amplify a 700 base pair region of the human AhR detected AhR mRNA in both mussel populations. The sequence of this PCR product is being determined. The presence of the AhR in marine invertebrates has important implications in the evolutionary age of the AhR
[en] Several fish and invertebrate species were evaluated for their responses to contamination associated with petroleum and gas development and production in the Gulf of Mexico. Sampling was done at 100 and 3000 m from the center of three platforms. No significant near/far station differences were observed in aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) activity for invertebrate species. Similarly, no AHH activity, or cytochrome P450 mRNA levels, or biliary polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolite concentrations were detected in 16 fish species. There were, however, some species-specific differences in AHH and biliary PAH metabolite levels. 78 refs., 3 tabs., 7 figs
[en] We present the methodology for 'blind' millimeter-wave surveys for redshifted molecular absorption in the CO/HCO+ rotational lines. The frequency range 30-50 GHz appears optimal for such surveys, providing sensitivity to absorbers at z ≳ 0.85. It is critical that the survey is 'blind', i.e., based on a radio-selected sample, including sources without known redshifts. We also report results from the first large survey of this kind, using the Q-band receiver on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to search for molecular absorption toward 36 sources, 3 without known redshifts, over the frequency range 39.6-49.5 GHz. The GBT survey has a total redshift path of Δz ≈ 24, mostly at 0.81 < z < 1.91, and a sensitivity sufficient to detect equivalent H2 column densities ≳ 3 × 1021 cm–2 in absorption at 5σ significance (using CO-to-H2 and HCO+-to-H2 conversion factors of the Milky Way). The survey yielded no confirmed detections of molecular absorption, yielding the 2σ upper limit n(z = 1.2) < 0.15 on the redshift number density of molecular gas at column densities N(H2) ≳ 3 × 1021 cm–2.