Detoxification of Neurotoxic Organomercurials by 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3-methyl-1H-imidazole-2(3H)-thione and its Analogues through Efficient Desulfurization and Deselenization Processes | Shiv Nadar University
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Detoxification of Neurotoxic Organomercurials by 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3-methyl-1H-imidazole-2(3H)-thione and its Analogues through Efficient Desulfurization and Deselenization Processes

Organomercurials, especially methylmercury species (MeHg+), are highly toxic due to their lipophilic nature and high affinity toward thiol or selenol residues found in cellular systems. The cysteine complex of methylmercury MeHgCys can easily cross the cellular membranes including blood-brain barrier causing irreversible damage to the nervous system. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop effective and safe compounds that can be used to detoxify organomercurials. Microorganisms have evolved resistance mechanisms to deal with Hg compounds and are known to play a crucial role in detoxifying MeHg+ by forming HgS, whereas the formation of HgSe has been observed in different tissues of marine mammals, wild animals and in various organs of Hg mine workers. Insoluble HgE (E = S, Se) particles are considered to be much less toxic than soluble MeHgCys. N-methylimidazole-based thione and its selenium analogue having a 2-hydroxyethyl substituent exhibit remarkable effect in the detoxification of various organomercurials such as RHgOH and RHgCl (R = Me, Et) by producing insoluble HgS and HgSe nanoparticles as the end products at 35 °C. Compounds that lack the N-CH2CH2OH group failed to produce the corresponding HgE nanoparticles under identical reaction conditions. Thus, efficient detoxification of organomercurials by forming insoluble HgE particles at physiologically relevant conditions may offer a novel approach to treat the patients suffering from methylmercury poisoning.

Department: 
Chemistry
Year: 
2017
Student Name: 
Mainak Banerjee

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