Author(s): Cervantes Cianca RC, Baptista MS, Lopes VR, Vasconcelos VM
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Abstract The tailor made amino acid β-N-methyl-amino-L-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria. It has been associated with certain forms of progressive neurodegenerative disease, including sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Some different reports of BMAA in cyanobacterial blooms from lakes, reservoirs, and other water resources have been made by different investigators. We here report the detection of BMAA of both free and protein-bound produced by cyanobacteria, belonging to the Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales and Nostocales ordered. We use a rapid and sensitive HPLC-FD method that utilizes methanol elution and the Waters AQC Tag chemistry. On other hand, we have used three different assay procedures for BMAA extraction from cyanobacteria: Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), Methanol/Acetone and hydrochloric acid (HCl). All assays let successfully detect BMAA in all cyanobacteria samples analyzed. Nevertheless, with TCA and HCl extraction procedures the highest BMAA values, for free as well as protein-bound BMAA were detected. BMAA content could not be related to the taxonomy of the isolates or to their geographical origin, and no correlation between free and protein-bound BMAA concentrations were observed within or between taxonomic groups. These data offer confirmation of the taxonomic and geographic ubiquity of BMAA from naturally occurring populations of cyanobacteria, for the first time reported for estuaries.
This article was published in Amino Acids
and referenced in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development