1-Bromopropane, an alternative to ozone layer depleting solvents, is dose-dependently neurotoxic to rats in long-term inhalation exposure.
1-Bromopropane (1-BP) is neurotoxic in both experimental animals and human. To identify phosphorylated modification on the unrecognized post-translational modifications of proteins and investigate their role in 1-BP-induced neurotoxicity, changes in hippocampal phosphoprotein expression levels were analyzed quantitatively in male F344 rats exposed to 1-BP inhalation at 0, 400, or 1000 ppm for 8 h/day for 1 or 4 weeks. Hippocampal protein extracts were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by Pro-Q Diamond gel staining and SYPRO Ruby staining coupled with two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE), respectively, as well as by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) to identify phosphoproteins. Changes in selected proteins were further confirmed by Manganese II (Mn(2+))-Phos-tag SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Bax and cytochrome c protein levels were determined by western blotting. Pro-Q Diamond gel staining combined with 2D-DIGE identified 26 phosphoprotein spots (p<0.05), and MALDI-TOF/MS identified 18 up-regulated proteins and 8 down-regulated proteins. These proteins are involved in the biological process of response to stimuli, metabolic processes, and apoptosis signaling. Changes in the expression of phosphorylated 14-3-3 θ were further confirmed by Mn(2+)-Phos-tag SDS-PAGE. Western blotting showed overexpression of Bax protein in the mitochondria with down-regulation in the cytoplasm, whereas cytochrome c expression was high in the cytoplasm but low in the mitochondria after 1-BP exposure. Our results suggest that the pathogenesis of 1-BP-induced hippocampal damage involves inhibition of antiapoptosis process. Phosphoproteins identified in this study can potentially serve as biomarkers for 1-BP-induced neurotoxicity.