Normal operation of oil well platforms results in the discharge of produced formation water (PFW). The expression of CYP1A, CYP2M1- and 2K1-like proteins was examined for use as possible biomarkers of PFW exposure. A pilot study on the Northwest Shelf of Australia had indicated that PFW contamination possibly contributes to induction of CYP1A-like proteins in Gold-Spotted Trevally (Carangoides fulvoguttatus). The pilot study samples were re-examined for CYP1A, and, in addition, CYP2K1/2M1-like proteins. In a subsequent caged fish study in the same location a second species, Stripey seaperch (Lutjanus carponotatus), caught at a clean site, were distributed to three caging sites in a PFW gradient from the Harriet A production platform: A (near-field), B (far-field) and C (a non-impacted reference site). Fish were sampled at time (T) T = 0, T = 3 and T = 10 days. Significant increases of CYP1A, one CYP2K1- and two CYP2M1-like proteins were noted at Site A at T = 10 d. For another CYP2K1-like protein, a significant increase was observed at Site A only at T = 3 d. These results support a previous study indicating that CYP1A protein is sensitive to PFW exposure. Importantly, statistically significant environmental induction of both CYP2M1- and CYP2K1-like proteins in tropical fish due to PFW exposure had not previously been described and induction of enzymes in the CYP2 family suggest new biomarkers for PFW. In addition, the novel response of one CYP2K-like protein requires further verification, but offers promise for improved monitoring of sub-lethal responses in marine organisms. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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