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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.

SUBMITTER: Waalkes MP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1135378 | BioStudies | 1988-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.1042/bj2560131

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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