Isolation and partial characterization of the low-molecular-mass zinc/cadmium-binding protein from the testes of the patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas). Distinction from metallothionein.
ABSTRACT: The mammalian testes are generally quite susceptible to cadmium. A deficiency of metallothionein (MT), a metal-binding protein linked to Cd tolerance, has been observed in rat testes and may explain the sensitivity in rats. Little is known about the metal-binding proteins in primate testes. Thus this study examined the nature of these proteins in a non-human primate species, the patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas). In all cases proteins isolated from testes were compared with authentic MT isolated from the liver of a zinc-treated monkey. A low-molecular-mass Zn/Cd-binding protein was seen in testicular and hepatic cytosol after gel filtration. Neither protein had substantial amounts of associated copper. These proteins could be partially purified from both sources by heat treatment and acetone precipitation. When such extracts were further separated by reverse-phase h.p.l.c., four hepatic forms were isolated, all of which proved to be authentic MT by amino acid analysis. However, only two testicular forms were separated by h.p.l.c., both of which had amino acid compositions quite unlike that of MT, having a much lower cysteine content and amino acids which are absent from MT (leucine and phenylalanine). The testicular protein appeared to be uninducible by Zn treatment. These results suggest that the low-molecular-mass Cd/Zn-binding proteins in the patas testes are not MTs and further support the hypothesis that a MT deficiency may be an important determinate of the marked testicular sensitivity to Cd toxicity.
Project description:Cadmium-binding proteins in the cytosol of testes from untreated rats were separated by Sephadex G-75 gel filtration. Three major testicular metal-binding proteins (TMBP), or groups of proteins, with relative elution volumes of approx. 1.0 (TMBP-1), 1.7 (TMBP-2) and 2.4 (TMBP-3) were separated. Elution of Zn-binding proteins exhibited a similar pattern. TMBP-3 has previously been thought to be metallothionein (MT), and hence this protein was further characterized and compared with hepatic MT isolated from Cd-treated rats. Estimation of Mr by gel filtration indicated a slight difference between MT (Mr 10000) and TMBP-3 (Mr 8000). Two major forms of MT (MT-I and MT-II) and TMBP-3 (TMBP-3 form I and TMBP-3 form II) were obtained after DEAE-Sephadex A-25 anion-exchange chromatography, with the corresponding subfractions being eluted at similar conductances. Non-denaturing polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis on 7% acrylamide gels indicated that the subfractions of TMBP-3 had similar mobilities to those of the corresponding subfractions of MT. However, SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate)/12% (w/v)-polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis resulted in marked differences in migration of the two corresponding forms of MT and TMBP-3. Co-electrophoresis of MT-II and TMBP-3 form II by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis revealed two distinct proteins. Amino acid analysis indicated much lower content of cysteine in the testicular than in the hepatic proteins. TMBP-3 also contained significant amounts of tyrosine, phenylalanine and histidine, whereas MT did not. U.v.-spectral analysis of TMBP-3 showed a much lower A250/A280 ratio than for MT. Thus this major metal-binding protein in testes, which has been assumed to be MT is, in fact, a quite different protein.
Project description:Fractionation of rat testicular cytosolic proteins by gel filtration indicates three major metal-binding proteins, or groups of proteins, termed testicular metal-binding protein (TMBP) 1, 2 and 3 by order of elution. The major heat-stable, metal-binding proteins in testes is TMBP-2, which has an Mr of approx. 25000. In most tissues, metallothionein (MT) is the major heat-stable, metal-binding protein, but it has an Mr of 6000. This testicular protein (TMBP-2) is much larger than MT, and since polymeric forms of MT have been previously reported, further characterization of TMBP-2 was performed. TMBP-2 was separated into two forms by DEAE-Sephadex A-25 anion-exchange chromatography. Amino acid analysis of both forms of TMBP-2 revealed that they differed markedly from MT, having particularly low cysteine contents. However, amino acid analysis showed that TBMP-2 was strikingly similar to TMBP-3, with an approximate stoichiometric relationship of 4:1. Therefore, experiments were conducted to determine if TMBP-3 could be a breakdown product of TMBP-2. Heat treatment of testicular cytosol in room air before gel filtration resulted in a marked increase in TMBP-3 and loss of TMBP-2. Storing intact testes at -20 degrees C for 2 weeks before processing for gel filtration also resulted in an increase in TMBP-3 and a loss of TMBP-2. Addition of a reducing agent (dithiothreitol) or proteinase inhibitor (N-ethylmaleimide) in processing of samples before gel filtration inhibited the appearance of TMBP-3. Results suggest that the low-Mr Cd-binding protein (TMBP-3) of rat testes results from either proteolytic or oxidative breakdown of a higher-Mr species, or from a combination of such factors.
Project description:Metallothionein (MT) proteins play critical roles in the physiological handling of both essential (Cu and Zn) and toxic (Cd) metals. MT expression is regulated by metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 (MTF1). Hence, genetic variation in the MT gene family and MTF1 might influence excretion of these metals.321 women were recruited in Seattle, WA and Las Cruces, NM and provided demographic information, urine samples for measurement of metal concentrations by mass spectrometry and creatinine, and blood or saliva for extraction of DNA. Forty-one single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MTF1 gene region and the region of chromosome 16 encoding the MT gene family were selected for genotyping in addition to an ancestry informative marker panel. Linear regression was used to estimate the association of SNPs with urinary Cd, Cu, and Zn, adjusted for age, urinary creatinine, smoking history, study site, and ancestry.Minor alleles of rs28366003 and rs10636 near the MT2A gene were associated with lower urinary Cd, Cu, and Zn. Minor alleles of rs8044719 and rs1599823, near MT1A and MT1B, were associated with lower urinary Cd and Zn, respectively. Minor alleles of rs4653329 in MTF1 were associated with lower urinary Cd.These results suggest that genetic variation in the MT gene region and MTF1 influences urinary Cd, Cu, and Zn excretion.
Project description:Cadmium (Cd) is a nonessential heavy metal and a prevalent environmental toxin that has been shown to induce significant cardiomyocyte apoptosis in neonatal murine engineered cardiac tissues (ECTs). In contrast, zinc (Zn) is a potent metallothionein (MT) inducer, which plays an important role in protection against Cd toxicity. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of Zn against Cd toxicity in ECTs and explore the underlying mechanisms. ECTs were constructed from neonatal ventricular cells of wild-type (WT) mice and mice with global MT gene deletion (MT-KO). In WT-ECTs, Cd (5-20 ?M) caused a dose-dependent toxicity that was detected within 8?h evidenced by suppressed beating, apoptosis, and LDH release; Zn (50-200 ?M) dose-dependently induced MT expression in ECTs without causing ECT toxicity; co-treatment of ECT with Zn (50?µM) prevented Cd-induced toxicity. In MT-KO ECTs, Cd toxicity was enhanced; but unexpectedly, cotreatment with Zn provided partial protection against Cd toxicity. Furthermore, Cd, but not Zn, significantly activated Nrf2 and its downstream targets, including HO-1; inhibition of HO-1 by a specific HO-1 inhibitor, ZnPP (10?µM), significantly increased Cd-induced toxicity, but did not inhibit Zn protection against Cd injury, suggesting that Nrf2-mediated HO-1 activation was not required for Zn protective effect. Finally, the ability of Zn to reduce Cd uptake provided an additional MT-independent mechanism for reducing Cd toxicity. Thus, Zn exerts protective effects against Cd toxicity for murine ECTs that are partially MT-mediated. Further studies are required to translate these findings towards clinical trials.
Project description:After the resolution of the 3D structure of the Cd?-aggregate of the Littorina littorea metallothionein (MT), we report here a detailed analysis of the metal binding capabilities of the wild type MT, LlwtMT, and of two truncated mutants lacking either the N-terminal domain, Lltr2MT, or both the N-terminal domain, plus four extra flanking residues (SSVF), Lltr1MT. The recombinant synthesis and in vitro studies of these three proteins revealed that LlwtMT forms unique M?-LlwtMT complexes with Zn(II) and Cd(II), while yielding a complex mixture of heteronuclear Zn,Cu-LlwtMT species with Cu(I). As expected, the truncated mutants gave rise to unique M?-LltrMT complexes and Zn,Cu-LltrMT mixtures of lower stoichiometry with respect to LlwtMT, with the SSVF fragment having an influence on their metal binding performance. Our results also revealed a major specificity, and therefore a better metal-coordinating performance of the three proteins for Cd(II) than for Zn(II), although the analysis of the Zn(II)/Cd(II) displacement reaction clearly demonstrates a lack of any type of cooperativity in Cd(II) binding. Contrarily, the analysis of their Cu(I) binding abilities revealed that every LlMT domain is prone to build Cu?-aggregates, the whole MT working by modules analogously to, as previously described, certain fungal MTs, like those of C. neoformans and T. mesenterica. It is concluded that the Littorina littorea MT is a Cd-specific protein that (beyond its extended binding capacity through an additional Cd-binding domain) confers to Littorina littorea a particular adaptive advantage in its changeable marine habitat.
Project description:Metallothioneins (MTs) are low-molecular-mass cysteine-rich proteins implicated in metal homoeostasis and resistance to toxicity induced by heavy metals and alkylating agents. We report high hepatic MT protein accumulation (greater than 100-fold compared with wild-type mice) in toxic milk (tx) mice, along with markedly higher cytosol copper and zinc levels. Increased MT-gene transcription alone could not account for the high constitutive MT protein levels, since MT mRNA levels were not increased in tx mouse livers. However, hepatic MT was significantly more stable in adult tx mice: MT half-life (t1/2) was 79 or 77% greater than in wild-type mice before and after Cd induction respectively. Cd or Zn treatment increased MT mRNA, but not MT protein, accumulation in tx mouse livers: Cd displaced MT-bound Zn and Cu in preexisting MT. Thus tx mice appear to accumulate hepatic MT as a result of decreased protein degradation. These animals may provide a useful model to study the physiological role of MT, and human diseases (such as Wilson's disease) with abnormal copper metabolism.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The impact of cadmium (Cd) on male infertility may be related to the interaction with metal-binding proteins known as metallothioneins (Mts). Trace elements like zinc (Zn) have protective effects on testicular damage induced by Cd. OBJECTIVE:We determined the effect of Zn and low-dose Cd pre-treatment on the expression of Mt1 and Mt2 genes on testicular Sertoli cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS:The cultured TM4 mouse sertoli cells were treated with 50 ?M ZnSO4 (Zn pre-treated group; ZnPG), 2 ?M CdCl2 (Cd pre-treated group; CdPG), or distilled water (DW pre-treated group; DWPG). After 18 hour, all of these groups were exposed to 100 ?M CdCl2 for different periods of time (1, 2, 3, and 6 hours). There was also a control group for all three groups, which was treated only with distilled water (without Cd or Zn pre-treatment). Cellular viability, Zn and Cd concentrations and gene expression were assessed by MTT, atomic absorption spectrometry and real time PCR methods, respectively. RESULTS:The expression of Mt1 and Mt2 genes in ZnPG, CdPG, and DWPG was greater than the control group (p=0.02 and p=0.01, respectively). Cd concentrations in CdPG and DWPG were greater than the control group (p=0.00). Expression of both genes in ZnPG and CdPG increased after 3 hours of treatment and Cd concentration decreased simultaneously, which was more obvious in ZnPG. CONCLUSION:Zn and short term low-dose Cd pre-treatment might reduce the adverse effects of Cd by increasing expression of Mts genes in Sertoli cells. The protective effect of Zn was stronger than Cd.
Project description:To investigate Zn and Cu accumulation and isometallothionein (iso-MT) induction in ascites-sarcoma S180A cells, 5 micrograms of Zn2+ or Cu2+/g body weight was administered to tumour-bearing mice intraperitoneally. In the tumour cells the Zn or Cu concentration increased more than in the host liver, which is the target organ for those metals; the maximum Zn or Cu level was about 2-3 times that in the host liver. The amounts of Zn-MT or Cu-MT accumulated in the tumour cells and host liver were proportional to such dose accumulation levels in the each cytosol; the maximum level of Zn-MT or Cu-MT was 4 or 2 times higher than in the host liver. MT accumulated in the tumour cells showed two subfractions (MT-1 and MT-2); the ratio of Zn (or Cu) bound to MT-1 to that bound to MT-2 in the host liver and tumour cells was 1.0 (or 1.0) and 0.7 (or 0.25) respectively, suggesting that the induction level of MT-2 in the tumour cells is more than that of MT-1. The h.p.l.c. profiles (using an anion-exchange column) of the isolated MT-1 and MT-2 subfractions from Zn-treated normal-mouse liver showed a single peak (MT-1-1) and two peaks (MT-2-1 and MT-2-2) respectively; mouse MTs were separated into three isoforms. In the ascites cells, the MT fraction obtained by a gel filtration was also separated into three isoforms; however, the amount of MT-2-1 isoform was 3 times that in the Zn-treated normal-mouse liver.
Project description:We report here the full characterization of the metal binding abilities of CnMT1 and CnMT2, two Cryptococcus neoformans proteins recently identified as metallothioneins (MTs), which have been shown to play a crucial role in the virulence and pathogenicity of this human-infecting fungus. In this work, we first performed a thorough in silico study of the CnMT1 and CnMT2 genes, cDNAs and corresponding encoded products. Subsequently, the Zn(II)-, Cd(II)- and Cu(I) binding abilities of both proteins were fully determined through the analysis of the metal-to-protein stoichiometries and the structural features (determined by ESI-MS, CD, ICP-AES and UV-vis spectroscopies) of the corresponding recombinant Zn-, Cd- and Cu-MT preparations synthesized in metal-enriched media. Finally, the analysis of the Zn/Cd and Zn/Cu replacement processes of the respective Zn-MT complexes when allowed to react with Cd(II) or Cu(I) aqueous solutions was performed. Comprehensive consideration of all gathered results allows us to consider both isoforms as genuine copper-thioneins, and led to the identification of unprecedented Cu5-core clusters in MTs. CnMT1 and CnMT2 polypeptides appear to be evolutionarily related to the small fungal MTs, probably by ancient tandem-duplication events responding to a highly selective pressure to chelate copper, and far from the properties of Zn- and Cd-thioneins. Finally, we propose a modular structure of the Cu-CnMT1 and Cu-CnMT2 complexes on the basis of Cu5 clusters, concordantly with the modular structure of the sequence of CnMT1 and CnMT2, constituted by three and five Cys-rich units, respectively.
Project description:The effects of increasing concentrations of Zn(II) and Cd(II) on the expression of the four isometallothioneins (isoMTs), namely MT-1a, MT-2a, MT-2d and MT-2e, in rabbit kidney cells (RK-13) and the development of cellular tolerance to these metal ions were studied. The results showed that, whereas in parental cells MT concentration was low and composed nearly exclusively of MT-2a and MT-1a, all four isoMTs increased massively in abundance when the cells were exposed to toxic concentrations of Zn(II) or Cd(II), the relative increase being largest in the two minor isoforms MT-2d and MT-2e. While the response of the four isoMTs to the challenge by Zn(II) or Cd(II) was qualitatively comparable, there were differences in sensitivity and delay time, Cd(II) being the more efficient inducer and much faster in eliciting the onset of isoMT synthesis. An even larger production of isoMTs resulted when RK-13 cells were cultured in the presence of a series of metal concentrations yielding sub-lines of increased metal tolerance. In this instance too, there were marked differences in the response to Cd(II) and Zn(II). Thus, in cells of sub-lines selected for tolerance to moderate concentrations of Cd(II) the kinetic analysis of isoMT accretion gave indications of a saturable induction process while no such evidence was forthcoming for Zn(II). In sub-line cells selected for tolerance to the highest concentrations of Cd(II) or Zn(II) isoMT formation was increased by another order of magnitude, reaching for some isoforms a 100- to 1000-fold augmentation over the amounts measured in cells of the unexposed parental cells. A potentiation of this magnitude goes beyond the range of ordinary regulation of gene expression. It is to be viewed instead as an enlargement of the capacity of isoMT synthesis acquired by a variety of mechanisms in the surviving cells.