Cytochrome P-450 and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes have been detected in several marine invertebrate species, but have not been reported in corals. Low but detectable quantities of cytochrome P-450 (0.09 ± 0.16 pmol˙mg−1 microsomal protein), and the activities
of several microsomal enzymes (benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase (BaPH) (1.26 ± 0.97 pmol˙min˙mg−1), epoxide hydrolase (14.1 ± 6.9 nmol˙min˙mg−1) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT) (2.73 ± 1.72 pmol˙min˙mg−1))
and a cytosolic enzyme (glutathione-S-transferase (GST) (15.2 ± 7.8 nmol˙min˙mg−1 soluble protein)) were found in the animal tissue of the scleractinian coral, Favia fragum. With the exception of GST, enzyme activities were low or equivalent to those
found in other marine invertebrates. GST activities, which exceed those found in most invertebrates, may be related to protection from high oxygen tensions in coral tissues originating from photosynthesis by zooxanthellae. Cytochrome P-450, microsomal and soluble protein content, and the activities
of several xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes were examined in colonies from three different reefs, along an inshore-offshore gradient, which varied in the amount of anthropogenic inputs. The levels of enzyme activity for BaPH and UDPGT were significantly higher in corals from the inshore site
suggesting prior induction possibly by terrigenously derived compounds. Cytochrome P-450 content and xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme activities from colonies collected on a fourth reef over a lunar reproductive cycle varied greatly over the 1 month sampling period and did not exhibit any obvious
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