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Identification of AhR agonists in sediments of the Bohai and Yellow Seas using advanced effect-directed analysis and in silico prediction

Cited 3 time in Web of Science Cited 4 time in Scopus

Lee, Junghyun; Hong, Seongjin; Kim, Taewoo; Park, Shin Yeong; Cha, Jihyun; Kim, Youngnam; Gwak, Jiyun; Lee, Sunggyu; Moon, Hyo-Bang; Hu, Wenyou; Wang, Tieyu; Giesy, John P.; Khim, Jong Seong

Issue Date
Elsevier BV
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.435, p. 128908
Novel aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists were identified in coastal sediments in the Yellow and Bohai Seas by use of a combination of effect-directed analysis (EDA) and in silico prediction. A total of 125 sediments were screened for AhR-mediated potencies using H4IIE-luc bioassay. Great potencies were observed in organic extracts, mid-polar fraction (F2), and subfractions of F2 (F2.6-F2.9) of sediments collected from Nantong, Qinhuangdao, and Yancheng. Less than 15% AhR potencies could be explained by detected dioxin-like PAHs. Full-scan screening analysis was conducted for the more potent fractions using GC-QTOFMS to investigate the presence of unmonitored AhR agonists. A five-step prioritization strategy was applied; 92 candidate compounds satisfied all criteria. Among these chemicals, thirteen were evaluated for AhR efficacy. Six compounds; benz[b]anthracene, 6-methylchrysene, 2methylbenz[a]anthracene, 1-methylbenz[a]anthracene, 1,12-dimethylbenzo[c]phenanthrene, and indeno[1,2,3-cd] fluoranthene, exhibited significant AhR-mediated efficacies. 1,12-dimethylbenzo[c]phenanthrene and indeno[1,2,3cd]fluoranthene were identified as novel AhR agonists. Potency balance analysis showed that the six newly identified AhR agonists explained 0.4-100% of the total AhR-mediated potencies determined. Overall, combining EDA and in silico prediction applied in this study demonstrated the benefits of assessing the potential toxic effects of previously unidentified AhR agonists in sediments from the coasts of China and Korea.
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