Tributyltin-binding protein type 2 (TBT-bp2), a homolog of α1-acid glycoprotein, may contribute to both accumulation and detoxification of TBT in fish. In this study, we conducted acute TBT exposure tests using both wide-type (WT) and TBT-bp2−/− (KO) strains of medaka and compared their responses in survival time and accumulation of TBT. Deficiency of TBT-bp2 significantly accelerated the time to death of medaka and decreased the LC50 of TBT, indicating that the KO-strain is more sensitive to TBT. No significant difference in the intrinsic TBT concentration in surviving fish was observed between the two strains. However, the intrinsic TBT concentration in dead KO-strain was significantly lower than that in WT-strain. These findings provide direct evidence, supporting the hypothesis that TBT-bp2 plays a critical role in the detoxification of TBT in fish.
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