Ecotoxicoproteomics: A decade of progress in our understanding of anthropogenic impact on the environment

Duarte Gouveia, Christine Almunia, Yannick Cogne, Olivier Pible, Davide Degli-Esposti, Arnaud Salvador, Susana Cristobal, David Sheehan, Arnaud Chaumot, Olivier Geffard, Jean Armengaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Anthropogenic pollutants are found worldwide. Their fate and effects on human and ecosystem health must be appropriately monitored. Today, ecotoxicology is focused on the development of new methods to assess the impact of pollutant toxicity on living organisms and ecosystems. In situ biomonitoring often uses sentinel animals for which, ideally, molecular biomarkers have been defined thanks to which environmental quality can be assessed. In this context, high-throughput proteomics methods offer an attractive approach to study the early molecular responses of organisms to environmental stressors. This approach can be used to identify toxicity pathways, to quantify more precisely novel biomarkers, and to draw the possible adverse outcome pathways. In this review, we discuss the major advances in ecotoxicoproteomics made over the last decade and present the current state of knowledge, emphasizing the technological and conceptual advancements that allowed major breakthroughs in this field, which aims to “make our planet great again”. Significance: Ecotoxicoproteomics is a protein-centric methodology that is useful for ecotoxicology and could have future applications as part of chemical risk assessment and environmental monitoring. Ecotoxicology employing non-model sentinel organisms with highly divergent phylogenetic backgrounds aims to preserve the functioning of ecosystems and the overall range of biological species supporting them. The classical proteomics workflow involves protein identification, functional annotation, and extrapolation of toxicity across species. Thus, it is essential to develop multi-omics approaches in order to unravel molecular information and construct the most suitable databases for protein identification and pathway analysis in non-model species. Current instrumentation and available software allow relevant combined transcriptomic/proteomic studies to be performed for almost any species. This review summarizes these approaches and illustrates how they can be implemented in ecotoxicology for routine biomonitoring.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Biomonitoring
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Environmental assessment
  • Environmental health
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Pollutant mode of action
  • Proteogenomics
  • Proteomics
  • Sentinel species
  • Targeted proteomics


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