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Octanol/Water Partition Coefficients as a Model System for Assessing Antidotes for Methylmercury(II) Poisoning, and for Studying Mercurials with Medicinal Applications

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Canty, AJ, Moors, PW and Deacon, GB 1984 , 'Octanol/Water Partition Coefficients as a Model System for Assessing Antidotes for Methylmercury(II) Poisoning, and for Studying Mercurials with Medicinal Applications' , Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, vol. 22, no. 1 , pp. 65-72 , doi: 10.1016/0162-0134(84)85064-3.

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Abstract

l-Octanol/water partition coefficients, mercury concentration in octanol divided by mercury concentration in water, provide a simple but limited model system for aspects of the biological behavior of methylmercury and commonly used organomercury medicinal compounds. In an octanol/water system some widely studied antidotes for mercury poisoning at least partly displace the biological thiols L-cysteine and glutathione from binding to methylmercury at pH 6.9. Addition of the antidote meso-dimercaptosuccinic acid to methylmercury in the presence of glutathione results in formation of metallic mercury. For organomercury (RHg) derivatives of L-cysteine and glutathione, octanol/water partition coefficients fol1ow the order R = Ph > Et > Me. An exceptional1y high value for
diphenylmercury, compared with PhHg derivatives of L-cysteine and glutathione, is consistent with reported results of the distribution of mercury compounds in rats.
Ethylmercury(II) is partly displaced from thimerosal by L-cysteine and glutathione in the octanol/water system, indicating that the active form of thimerosal in vivo may involve binding of ethylmercury to biological ligands.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Canty, AJ and Moors, PW and Deacon, GB
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry
ISSN: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/0162-0134(84)85064-3
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