Development of an inhibitive assay using commercial Electrophorus electricus acetylcholinesterase for heavy metal detection

Shukor, M. Y.; Tham, L. G.; Halmi, M. I. E.; Khalid, I.; Begum, Ghousia; Syed, M. A.
September 2013
Journal of Environmental Biology;Sep2013, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p967
Academic Journal
Near-real-time assay is an assay method that the whole process from sampling until results could be obtained in approximately less than one hour. The Ellman assay for acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) has near real-time potential due to its simplicity and fast assay time. The commercial acetylcholinesterase from Electrophorus electricus is well known for its uses in insecticides detection. A lesser known fact is AChE is also sensitive to heavy metals. A near real-time inhibitive assay for heavy metals using AChE from this source showed promising results. Several heavy metals such as copper, silver and mercury could be detected with IC50 values of 1.212, 0.1185 and 0.097 mg l-1, respectively. The Limits of detection (LOD) for copper, silver and mercury were 0.01, 0.015 and 0.01 mg l-1, respectively. TheLimits of quantitation (LOQ) for copper, silver and mercury were 0.196, 0.112 and 0.025 mg l-1, respectively. The LOQ values for copper, silver and mercury were well below the maximum permissible limit for these metal ions as outlined by Malaysian Department of Environment. A polluted location demonstrated near real-time applicability of the assay with variation of temporal levels of heavy metals detected. The results show that AChE from Electrophorus electricus has the potential to be used as a near real-time biomonitoring tool for heavy metals.


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