Distribution of selenium binding proteins in liver from two species of penguins from Bouvetøya

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Norheim, G. ; Mehlum, F. ; Bech, C. ; Moksnes, M.T. (1991)

Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica and macaroni penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus were collected at Bouvettfya in the south Atlantic. The average hepatic selenium levels for the two species were 6.6 ± 2.9 and 23.6 ± 3.4 ng/g wet weight (P < 0.001), respectively. The total hepatic glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the two species was 629 ± 58 and 838 ± 88 u.kat/kg (P < 0.001), respectively. The average selenium dependent GSH-Px activity was 96 ± 3.2% of the total activity. All selenium was present in the cytosol. The selenium binding compounds were separated on Sephadex G-75 into three fractions, a high molecular weight fraction, a metallothionein fraction, and a third non-protein selenium containing fraction. There seems to be an agreement between the amount of selenium recovered in the first fraction and the GSH-Px activity. In chinstrap and macaroni penguins, the percentage of hepatic selenium recovered in the third non-protein fraction was 83 ± 2.6 and 94 ± 1.1% (P < 0.001), respectively.
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