Monitoring and classification of PAH toxicity using an immobilized bioluminescent bacteria

Hyun Joo Lee, Julien Villaume, David C. Cullen, Byoung Chan Kim, Man Bock Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


An immobilized recombinant bioluminescent Escherichia coli strain, harboring a lac::luxCDABE fused plasmid, which shows lower bioluminescence levels when cellular metabolism is inhibited, was used to monitor the cellular toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs, classified as pericondensed (PCPAHs) or catacondensed (CCPAHs) according to their molecular structures, were differentiable according to the response of this biosensor. Only CCPAHs were found to cause cellular toxicity, resulting in a dose-dependent decrease in the bioluminescent output. The induction of cellular toxicity by CCPAHs and PCPAHs was compared with acute toxicity predictions obtained using the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model. A good relationship was obtained between the toxicities determined with the bioluminescent response of the immobilized bacterium GC2 and the QSAR model. It was also found that the present study offers a new method of predicting the cellular toxicities of CCPAHs or PCPAHs using this biosensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-577
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Laboratory (2001) NRL) program of Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (Project Number M10104000094–01J000004100). The authors express their gratitude for this support.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Catacondensed PAHs
  • Cellular toxicity
  • Immobilized recombinant bioluminescent bacterium
  • Pericondensed PAHs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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