, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1115–1121 | Cite as

Interaction of inorganic mercury with CoA-SH and acyl-CoAs

  • Robert Gradinaru
  • Alin Ionas
  • Aurel Pui
  • Gheorghita Zbancioc
  • Gabi Drochioiu


Sulfur containing biomolecules are involved in complexes with mercury. CoA is an important cofactor for many enzymes involved in metabolic processes. Fatty acyl-CoA-thioesters, substrates of mitochondrial ß-oxidation, are sulfur containing compounds and potential mercury ligands. The CoA-Hg2+ complex can be easily assessed by UV-Vis spectroscopy or indirectly by antibacterial tests that reconfirmed the protective role of CoA on E. coli. The characteristics of these complexes were determined by means of FTIR spectroscopy. The reverse phase liquid chromatography combined with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry was used for detection of the side-product that resulted through the cleavage of thioesters in the presence of mercury. An unexpected result was the detection of octathioic acid as a product. Our study shows that mitochondrial β-oxidation can be affected by thioesters depletion assisted by Hg2+. The GC-MS technique could be used to detect some possible mitochondrial injuries due to the heavy metal ions.


Mercury Coenzyme A E. coli Fatty acid thioesters FTIR GC-MS 



This work was supported by CNCSIS UEFISCSU (PNII—IDEI 483/2009, RP-7/2007, 31017/2007).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 58 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Gradinaru
    • 1
  • Alin Ionas
    • 1
  • Aurel Pui
    • 1
  • Gheorghita Zbancioc
    • 1
  • Gabi Drochioiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryAl. I. Cuza UniversityJassyRomania

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