Exceptional iron concentrations in larval lampreys (Geotria australis) and the activities of superoxide radical detoxifying enzymes.
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to elucidate the way in which larvae of the lamprey Geotria australis counteract the potential problems of the very high concentrations of non-haem iron they contain and thereby avoid the deleterious effects associated with iron overload in other vertebrates. Particular attention has been paid to ascertaining whether increasing concentrations of iron are accompanied by (i) change to a less readily available form of iron and (ii) an increase in the activity of those detoxifying enzymes responsible for minimizing the production of harmful hydroxyl radicals via the Haber-Weiss reaction. The mean concentrations of haemosiderin and ferritin in larval G. australis were each far higher in the nephric fold than in either the liver or intestine, but all these concentrations were much greater than those in rat liver. Since haemosiderin releases iron far more slowly than ferritin, the iron it contains is much less readily available to catalyse the Haber-Weiss reaction. It is thus relevant that (i) non-haem iron in the nephric fold occurred to a greater extent as large dense haemosiderin granules than as ferritin molecules and (ii) the proportion of iron in the form of haemosiderin rose with increasing concentration of total non-haem iron. A strong correlation was also recorded between the activity of superoxide dismutase in the nephric fold and the concentrations of total non-haem iron and its haemosiderin and ferritin components. This demonstrates that enzyme detoxification of O2.- rises with increasing amounts of iron. The exceptional iron concentrations in the nephric fold were not reflected by a greater measured activity of superoxide dismutase than that found in other tissues. However, the nephric fold was shown to contain an augmentation factor which is presumed to enhance the activity of this enzyme in vivo. The activity of catalase and glutathione peroxidase, which catalyse the breakdown of H2O2 to O2 and water, were each significantly correlated with the concentration of ferritin.
Project description:Weekly intramuscular injections of 3 mg of iron as horse spleen ferritin into adult Geotria australis over 10 weeks, resulted in a progressive increase in that form of iron in the serum. However, as with control animals, the ferritin in the liver of injected lampreys consisted of one subunit type, whose M(r) (20,300) differed from those of the two subunit types of horse spleen ferritin. Thus, lampreys had converted horse spleen ferritin iron into endogenous ferritin iron, presumably in their liver. Marked rises in hepatic non-haem iron during the first 2 weeks and between weeks 8 and 10 of iron injections were accompanied by pronounced increases in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. This rise, which parallels the rise in SOD activity that occurs as iron increases during the very protracted upstream migration of G. australis, is consistent with the view that SOD protects against iron-mediated damage by removing the superoxide radical, which facilitates the formation of the highly toxic hydroxyl radical. A levelling off of the iron concentration between weeks 2 and 8 was accompanied by a decline in SOD activity, even though nonhaem iron levels were well above those of control animals. Enhanced SOD activity may therefore only be required when there is an elevated flux of iron in the liver through low-molecular-mass intermediates. A small amount of ferritin iron was converted into the more inert haemosiderin iron.
Project description:Haemosiderin was isolated from thalassaemic human spleens by centrifugation through concentrated KI solutions. A method for solubilizing haemosiderin was developed which leaves the iron oxyhydroxide cores and constituent polypeptides intact, facilitating further purification and analysis. Purified haemosiderin contained no detectable haem, trace amounts of carbohydrate, and iron and phosphorus in a molar ration of 6:1; much of the phosphate may be present as core-adsorbed. Several lipids were present, but it is not certain whether these are contaminants or components of the haemosiderin granules. In all preparations examined, a characteristic group of six to seven peptides of apparent Mr 12 900-17 800 were found, with a major band at Mr 14 500 and, in addition, a minor component of Mr 42 000; these peptides co-chromatographed with the cores. Negatively stained electron micrographs suggest that these peptides form an incomplete shell about the cores, consistent with the view that haemosiderin is a proteolytic product of ferritin.
Project description:1. Ferritin and haemosiderin in diluted tissue cannot be quantitatively separated by centrifugation unless the pH is brought below 6. 2. These iron-storage substances can be separated from one another and from haemoglobin by ion-exchange chromatography on CM-cellulose, when good recoveries of total tissue iron are obtained. 3. The ferritin fraction has been identified by its solubility, its appearance under the electron microscope, crystallization with Cd(2+) and the fact that it corresponds quantitatively to the heat-stable portion of the tissue non-haem iron.
Project description:Rats were chronically iron-overloaded by intraperitonel injections of iron-dextran. Electron microscopy revealed that the excess iron was deposited in ferritin-like particles packed in lysosomes and scattered in hepatic cytoplasm. No mitochondrial iron deposition or damage was seen. Furthermore, mitochondrial preparations from chronically iron-overloaded animals were found to be contaminated with lysosomes, which could explain previously reported increases in mitochondrial iron by chemical analysis. Mitochondrial function, as measured by cytochromes a-a3, b and c concentrations as well as activity of the rate-limiting enzyme of haem synthesis, delta-aminolaevulinate synthetase, was not diminished by chronic iron-overloading. Microsomal haem was decreased by 30% at the time that haem oxygenase, the rate-limiting enzyme of haem degradation, was increased approx. 3-fold. Animals were given a single intraperitoneal injection of iron-dextran and the activities of delta-aminolaevulinate synthetase and haem oxygenase were measured over 24 h. delta-Aminolaevulinate synthetase activity increased approx. 2-fold in these acutely iron-overloaded rat livers, but at a time after the increase in haem oxygenase. These results suggest that an early consequence of excess iron in liver is acceleration of the rate of haem degradation, possible by haem oxygenase.
Project description:The heteroaromatic chelators 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one, maltol, mimosine and 2,4-dihydroxypyridine-N-oxide, have been shown to mobilize iron from human spleen haemosiderin, ferritin and also from iron(III) precipitates, all containing equal amounts of iron, at physiological pH. In the case of almost every chelator, the least-solubilized polynuclear iron form was ferritin, whereas haemosiderin was more soluble and the iron(III) precipitate the most soluble of all. Most of the chelators were more efficient than desferrioxamine at releasing iron from ferritin, but less efficient in the removal of iron from the other two polynuclear iron forms. It is suggested that the chelator differences in iron mobilization may be related to variations in the chelator molecular structure, the protein structure, iron forms and in the mechanism of iron release.
Project description:Enterobacteriaceae that contain the High Pathogenicity Island (HPI), which encodes the siderophore yersiniabactin, display increased virulence. This increased virulence may be explained by the increased iron scavenging of the bacteria, which would both enhance bacterial growth and limit the availability of iron to cells of the innate immune system, which require iron to catalyze the Haber-Weiss reaction that produces hydroxyl radicals. In this study, we show that yersiniabactin increases bacterial growth when iron-saturated lactoferrin is the main iron source. This suggests that yersiniabactin provides bacteria with additional iron from saturated lactoferrin during infection. Furthermore, the production of ROS by polymorphonuclear leukocytes, monocytes, and a mouse macrophage cell line is blocked by yersiniabactin, as yersiniabactin reduces iron availability to the cells. Importantly, iron functions as a catalyst during the Haber-Weiss reaction, which generates hydroxyl radicals. While the physiologic role of the Haber-Weiss reaction in the production of hydroxyl radicals has been controversial, the siderophores yersiniabactin, aerobactin, and deferoxamine and the iron-chelator deferiprone also reduce ROS production in activated innate immune cells. This suggests that this reaction takes place under physiological conditions. Of the tested iron chelators, yersiniabactin was the most effective in reducing the ROS production in the tested innate immune cells. The likely decreased bacterial killing by innate immune cells resulting from the reduced production of hydroxyl radicals may explain why the HPI-containing Enterobacteriaceae are more virulent. This model centered on the reduced killing capacity of innate immune cells, which is indirectly caused by yersiniabactin, is in agreement with the observation that the highly pathogenic group of Yersinia is more lethal than the weakly pathogenic and the non-pathogenic group.
Project description:Horse spleen and human spleen ferritins increase the formation of hydroxyl radicals (OH) at both pH 4.5 and pH 7.4 in reaction mixtures containing ascorbic acid and H2O2. The generation of OH is inhibited by the chelator desferrioxamine. Human spleen haemosiderin also accelerates OH generation in identical reaction mixtures, but is far less effective (on a unit iron basis) than ferritin under all reaction conditions. It is proposed that conversion of ferritin into haemosiderin in iron overload is biologically advantageous in that it decreases the ability of iron to promote oxygen-radical reactions.
Project description:Conjugated-Schiff's-base-type fluorescence was measured in iron-depleted samples and chloroform extracts of human spleen haemosiderin. Incubation of ferritin with liposomes and ascorbate led to the formation of compounds with similar fluorescence properties. Analysis of protein subunits by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis confirmed that ferritin was damaged in incubations with ascorbate. Since previous studies have shown that intact ferritin is resistant to proteolytic degradation, it is suggested that haemosiderin may be a product of oxidative reactions involving ferritin and lipid.
Project description:Iron release from both human and horse spleen haemosiderin to desferrioxamine was substantially less than that released from ferritin samples. This finding contradicts a previous report [Kontoghiorges, Chambers & Hoffbrand (1987) Biochem. J. 241, 87-92]. Differences in phosphate content of cores and in core size between haemosiderin and ferritin did not account for the different iron-release rates. Iron released to acetate was found to stimulate lipid peroxidation in liposomes, whereas that released to stronger chelators such as citrate and desferal did not. Absorption spectra and gel-filtration studies suggest that the acetate-solubilized iron was in the form of low-molecular-mass (less than 5 kDa) ferrihydrite fragments.
Project description:A minor electrophoretically fast component was found in ferritin from iron-loaded rat liver in addition to a major electrophoretically slow ferritin similar to that observed in control rats. The electrophoretically fast ferritin showed immunological identity with the slow component, but on electrophoresis in SDS it gave a peptide of 17.3 kDa, in contrast with the electrophoretically slow ferritin, which gave a major band corresponding to the L-subunit (20.7 kDa). Thus the electrophoretically fast ferritin resembles that reported by Massover [(1985) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 829, 377-386] in livers of mice with short-term parenteral iron overload. The electrophoretically fast ferritin had a lower iron content (2000 Fe atoms/molecule) than the electrophoretically slow ferritin (3000 Fe atoms/molecule). Removal and re-incorporation of iron was possible without effect on the electrophoretic mobility of either ferritin species. On subcellular fractionation the electrophoretically fast ferritin was enriched in pellet fractions and was the sole soluble ferritin isolated from iron-laden secondary lysosomes (siderosomes). The amount and relative proportion of the electrophoretically fast species increased with iron loading. Haemosiderin isolated from siderosomes was found to contain a peptide reactive to anti-ferritin serum and corresponding to the 17.3 kDa peptide of the electrophoretically fast ferritin species. Unlike the electrophoretically slow ferritin, the electrophoretically fast ferritin did not become significantly radioactive in a 1 h biosynthetic labelling experiment. We conclude that the minor ferritin is not, as has been suggested for mouse liver ferritin, 'a completely new species of smaller holoferritin that represents a shift in the ferritin phenotype' in response to siderosis, but a precursor of haemosiderin, in agreement with the proposal by Richter [(1984) Lab. Invest. 50, 26-35] concerning siderosomal ferritin.