The detection of microcystins in freshwater and in biological samples has become increasingly important due to their toxicity and tumor-promoting nature. This paper describes the electrochemical characterization of microcystin-LR using cyclic voltammetry and anodic stripping voltammetry at different substrates of gold, platinum, glassy carbon and carbon pastes electrodes. Results of electrochemical oxidation reactions indicated that gold-catalyzed complexes were formed between mercury ions and microcystin at approximately 450mV versus a silver/silver chloride reference electrode. The resulting complex, that was also observed using copper, zinc, lead and gallium ions, was strongly dependent on the concentration of microcystins at picomolar levels with quantitation range of 10pM-1nM. The energetics of interaction of the metal ions with the cyclic peptide was studied using semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations. Stable conformation was obtained when the metal ions were localized within the cavity region of the microcystin. This is likely to provide a new approach to the possible mechanisms of detoxification for this class of hepatotoxic peptides. It is also likely to result in the development of suitable electrochemical method of detection for other types of microcystin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Molecular modeling