Journal Article Complexation of Eu(III), Pb(II), and U(VI) with a Paramecium glycoprotein: Microbial transformation of heavy elements in the aquatic environment

Kozai, Naofumi  ,  Sakamoto, Fuminori  ,  Tanaka, Kazuya  ,  Ohnuki, Toshihiko  ,  Satoh, Takahiro  ,  Kamiya, Tomihiro  ,  Grambow, Bernd

196pp.135 - 144 , 2018-03
This study investigated the interaction of inorganic aqueous Eu(III), Pb(II), and U(VI) with Paramecium sp., a representative single-celled protozoan that lives in freshwater. Living and prekilled Paramecium cells were tested. The prekilled cells were killed with a fixative. After 24 h exposure of the cells to inorganic aqueous solutions containing Eu(III) or U(VI), analyses by microparticle-induced X-ray emission with a focused beam (<1 μm) did not detect Eu and U in the living cells, whereas Eu and U were detected in the prekilled cells. Size exclusion chromatography coupled with on-line ultravioletevisible detection and elemental detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry of the aqueous phases collected after the living cell experi- ments revealed that a fraction of the Eu, Pb, and U in the aqueous phase bound to a large (ca. 250 kDa) Paramecium biomolecule and formed a metal-organic complex. The characteristics of the biomolecule were consistent with those of the soluble glycoproteins covering the surfaces of Paramecium cells. These results show that Paramecium cells transform inorganic aqueous Eu, Pb, and U to organic complexes. This paper discusses the relation between this novel complexation and the sorption of these heavy elements on Paramecium cells.

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