Isolation of two cytochrome P450 cDNAs, CYP1A1 and CYP1A2, from harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Rachel E. Tilley*, Graham D. Kemp, Ikuko Teramitsu, Ailsa J. Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Two cytochrome P450 (CYP), CYP1A1 and CYP1A2, cDNA sequences have been isolated and cloned from harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). EROD, a model substrate for CYP1A, and heterologous antibodies have been employed as a biomarker in marine mammals, however the CYP1A sequences have not been characterised in these two seal species. mRNA was used as the template in RT-PCR, rather than DNA as this indicates transcription of the CYP1A gene in these seal species exposed to environmental contaminants. Harp and grey seal CYP1A1 amino acid sequences exhibited >99% identity and the CYP1A2 sequences were >98% identical. Phylogenetic analyses of the two seal species with other mammalian, and avian CYP1A sequences, showed the CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 sequences clustered with corresponding sequences in other mammalian species. The closest sequences to the seal CYP1As was dog CYP1A. The CYP1A sequence information presented in this study has provided the necessary data for the future production of species-specific probes for the use as biomarkers of environmental contaminant exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Biomarker
  • Cytochrome P4501A
  • Environmental contaminants
  • Grey seal
  • Halichoerus grypus
  • Harp seal
  • Molecular cloning
  • Phoca groenlandica
  • RT-PCR


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