Scientific reports

Effects of Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) Phosphate (TDCPP) in Tetrahymena Thermophila: Targeting the Ribosome.

PMID 25994279


Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) has been frequently detected in the environment, and exposure to TDCPP appears widespread. It has been implicated to cause toxicity in vertebrates, but its potential to affect lower-trophic-level species remains unknown. In the present study, the ciliated protozoan, Tetrahymena thermophila, was used as a model to evaluate toxic effects of TDCPP and explore molecular mechanisms by integrating phenotypic observation, RNA-Seq and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) Imaging technologies. Exposure to 0.01, 0.1 or 1 μM TDCPP for 5 days significantly decreased the relative biomass by reducing number of cells, size of cells and quantity of cilia in a dose-dependent manner. RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that expression of twenty-one ribosome protein genes was down-regulated and these genes were enriched in "ribosome" term in KEGG pathway analysis. Furthermore, down-regulation of genes expressing ribosome proteins was accompanied by decreased ribosome quantity in rough endoplasmic reticulum and cytoplasm and enlarged ribosome size. Therefore, taken together, the data from the present study suggest that exposure to TDCPP affects growth and reproduction of Tetrahymena thermophila by targeting the ribosome. This information might provide insights into critical mechanisms of toxic action in other species and lead to useful bioindicators of exposure to TDCPP.