ABSTRACT: Two electrophoretically distinguishable metallothioneins were isolated from the livers of Cd2+-treated rats and had thiol group/metal ratios of 3:1, a total metal content, in each of these proteins, of 3.6 atoms of Cd2+ + 2.4 atoms of Zn2+/molecule and 4.2 atoms of Cd2+ + 2.8 atoms of Zn2+/molecule and respective apoprotein mol.wts. of 5844 and 6251. Studies with 1 h pulse labels of [3H]cysteine, given after a single injection of ZnCl2 or CdCl2, showed that these metals stimulated radioactive isotope incorporation into the metallothioneins over the control value by 10- and 15-fold respectively. This stimulation was maximal at 4 h after a single CdCl2 injection and decreased to control values by 16 h, suggesting that either a translational event is responding to free intracellular Cd2+ or a short-lived mRNA is being produced or stabilized in response to the metal treatment. In rats chronically exposed to CdCl2, the metallothioneins increased to 0.2% of the liver wet weight from a control value of 2--4 mumol/kg of liver, with a maximum rate of accumulation of 2--3 mumol/h per kg of liver. The turnover of these proteins in control animals was 0.3--0.6 mumoles/h per kg of liver, measured by the rate of disappearance of 203Hg2+, which binds irreversibly to the metallothioneins. Pretreatment with CdCl2 completely stopped the rapid 203Hg turnover observed in untreated animals. Unlike CdCl2, treatment with ZnCl2 increased the concentration of metallothioneins to a new steady-state pool, 11 mumole/kg of liver, after 10 h. The increase in the zinc-thionein pool by exposure to ZnCl2 in vivo was determined to be primarily due to a stimulation of metallothionein biosynthesis.
Project description:Poly(A)+ (polyadenylated) mRNA coding for metallothioneins was purified 13-fold from rat liver polyribosomes and was identified by its ability to direct the biosynthesis of these proteins in a wheat-germ cell-free system. The carboxymethylated products of the protein-synthesizing system in vitro were analysed with sodium dodecyl sulphate/20% polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. The labelled compounds [3H]serine and [35S]cysteine were incorporated at high specific radioactivity into proteins that co-migrated with authentic metallothioneins. No [3H]leucine incorporation was found, in agreement with the amino acid composition of the metallothioneins. Metallothionein mRNA had a sedimentation coefficient of 9 S and carried a maximum of four ribosomes. At 5 h after a subcutaneous injection of ZnCl2 or CdCl2 (10 mumol/kg body wt.), the amount of this mRNA increased approx. 2- and 4-fold respectively, on the basis of translation in vitro. The increase in metallothionein mRNA (defined by translation in the wheat-germ system) was transient and, after CdCl2 treatment, fell back to control values by 17 h. Metallothioneins constituted a maximum of 0.8% of the total protein products synthesized in the wheat-germ system by total mRNA isolated from rat liver after CdCl2 treatment.
Project description:The effects of the heavy-metal ions Cd2+ and Zn2+ on the homoeostasis of intracellular free Ca2+ in E367 neuroblastoma cells were examined using 19F-NMR spectroscopy with the fluorinated chelator probe 1,2-bis-(2-amino-5-fluorophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N', N'-tetra-acetic acid (5F-BAPTA). First, the technique was used to quantify the uptake and intracellular free concentrations of the heavy metals after treatment of the cells with 20 microM CdCl2 or 100 microM ZnCl2. Secondly, metal-induced transients in intracellular free Ca2+ were recorded. Addition of 20 microM CdCl2, but not 100 microM ZnCl2, evoked a transient increase in Ca2+ from a resting level of 84 nM to approx. 190 nM within 15 min after addition of the metal. Zn2+ at 20 microM completely prevented the induction of a Ca2+ transient by Cd2+. Ca2+ was mobilized by Cd2+ from intracellular organelles, since depletion of these stores by thapsigargin abolished the effect of the toxic metal. Furthermore, 20 microM Cd2+ evoked a transient rise in cellular Ins(1,4,5)P3, reaching a maximum level within 5 min after addition of the metal. These results demonstrate that perturbation of the Ins(1,4,5)P3/Ca2+ messenger system is an early and discrete cellular effect of Cd2+.
Project description:Cadmium ions (Cd2+) have been reported to accumulate in bovine tissues, although Cd2+ cytotoxicity has not been investigated thoroughly in this species. Zinc ions (Zn2+) have been shown to antagonize the toxic effects of heavy metals such as Cd2+ in some systems. The present study investigated Cd2+ cytotoxicity in Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) epithelial cells, and explored whether this was modified by Zn2+. Exposure to Cd2+ led to a dose- and time-dependent increase in apoptotic cell death, with increased intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial damage. Zn2+ supplementation alleviated Cd2+-induced cytotoxicity and this protective effect was more obvious when cells were exposed to a lower concentration of Cd2+ (10 ?M), as compared to 50 ?M Cd2+. This indicated that high levels of Cd2+ accumulation might induce irreversible damage in bovine kidney cells. Metallothioneins (MTs) are metal-binding proteins that play an essential role in heavy metal ion detoxification. We found that co-exposure to Zn2+ and Cd2+ synergistically enhanced RNA and protein expression of MT-1, MT-2, and the metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 in MDBK cells. Notably, addition of Zn2+ reduced the amounts of cytosolic Cd2+ detected following MDBK exposure to 10 ?M Cd2+. These findings revealed a protective role of Zn2+ in counteracting Cd2+ uptake and toxicity in MDBK cells, indicating that this approach may provide a means to protect livestock from excessive Cd2+ accumulation.
Project description:Parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells were isolated from the livers of control, starved, Zn2+-injected and Cd2+-injected rats. Parenchymal cells were prepared by differential centrifugation after perfusion of the liver with collagenase. Non-parenchymal cells were separated from parenchymal cells by unit-gravity sedimentation and differential centrifugation. Yields of 2 x 10(8) non-parenchymal cells with greater than 95% viability and less than 0.2% contamination with parenchymal cells were obtained without exposing cells to Pronase. Metallothioneins-I and -II were identified in parenchymal cells and non-parenchymal cells from Zn2+-treated rats. The metallothionein contents of parenchymal cells, non-parenchymal cells and intact liver were quantified by a competitive 203Hg-binding assay. Administration of heavy-metal salts significantly increased the metallothionein content of both cell populations, although the concentration of the protein was approx. 2.5-fold greater in parenchymal cells than in non-parenchymal cells. Overnight starvation increased the metallothionein content of parenchymal cells without altering that of non-parenchymal cells. The potential significance of this differential response by different liver cell types with regard to the influence of Zn2+ on stress-mediated alterations in hepatic metabolism is discussed.
Project description:Metallothioneins (MTs) constitute a group of intrinsically disordered proteins that exhibit extreme diversity in structure, biological functionality, and metal ion specificity. Structures of coordinatively saturated metalated MTs have been extensively studied, but very limited structural information for the partially metalated MTs exists. Here, the conformational preferences from partial metalation of rabbit metallothionein-2A (MT) by Cd2+, Zn2+, and Ag+ are studied using nanoelectrospray ionization ion mobility mass spectrometry. We also employ collision-induced unfolding to probe differences in the gas-phase stabilities of these partially metalated MTs. Our results show that despite their similar ion mobility profiles, Cd4-MT, Zn4-MT, Ag4-MT, and Ag6-MT differ dramatically in their gas-phase stabilities. Furthermore, the sequential addition of each Cd2+ and Zn2+ ion results in the incremental stabilization of unique unfolding intermediates.
Project description:Plant metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of low molecular weight, cysteine-rich, and metal-binding proteins, which play an important role in the detoxification of heavy metal ions, osmotic stresses, and hormone treatment. Sequence analysis revealed that the open-reading frame (ORF) of ZjMT was 225 bp, which encodes a protein composed of 75 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 7.376 kDa and a predicated isoelectric point (pI) of 4.83. ZjMT belongs to the type I MT, which consists of two highly conserved cysteine-rich terminal domains linked by a cysteine free region. Our studies showed that ZjMT was primarily localized in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of cells and ZjMT expression was up-regulated by NaCl, CdCl2 and polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatments. Constitutive expression of ZjMT in wild type Arabidopsis plants enhanced their tolerance to NaCl stress during the germination stage. Compared with the wild type, transgenic plants accumulate more Cd2+ in root, but less in leaf, suggesting that ZjMT may have a function in Cd2+ retension in roots and, therefore, decrease the toxicity of Cd2+.
Project description:Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful tool to dissect molecular interactions that govern the stability and function of proteins. We applied SMFS to understand the effect of Zn2+ on the molecular interactions underlying the structure of rhodopsin. Force-distance curves obtained from SMFS assays revealed the strength and location of molecular interactions that stabilize structural segments within this receptor. The inclusion of ZnCl2 in SMFS assay buffer increased the stability of most structural segments. This effect was not mimicked by CaCl2, CdCl2, or CoCl2. Thus, Zn2+ stabilizes the structure of rhodopsin in a specific manner.
Project description:Mn2+ and Zn2+ exhibit a striking ability to block the induction by Sn2+ and Ni2+ of haem oxygenase (EC 220.127.116.11) in kidney. The blocking effects of Mn2+ and Zn2+ were found to be greatest on simultaneous administration, time-dependent when administered up to 8 h before the inducing metal ions, and ineffective when administered as little as 10 min after the inducing metal ions. The decreases in cytochrome P-450 and haem contents and the sequential changes in delta-aminolaevulinate synthase (EC 18.104.22.168) activity that occur concomitant with haem oxygenase induction were largely eliminated with simultaneous or prior treatment with Mn2+ or Zn2+, but not when Mn2+ or Zn2+ was administered after Sn2+ or Ni2+. Mn2+ and Zn2+ did not increase the catabolism of the enzyme in vivo. Zn2+ on simultaneous administration was also able substantially to block the induction of haem oxygenase by Co2+, Cd2+ and Ni2+ in liver. The Zn2+ blockade of Cd2+ induction was examined in detail, and prior or simultaneous administration of Zn2+ was found to be effective in blocking the induction of haem oxygenase and the concomitant decreases in cytochrome P-450 and haem contents, ethylmorphine demethylase activity and the sequential changes in delta-aminolaevulinate synthase activity. Zn2+ administration 10 min or more after Cd2+ was ineffective in preventing the occurrence of these perturbations in haem metabolism. These findings describe a new and striking biological property of Mn2+ and Zn2+, and indicate the existence of significant metal ion interactions in the control of haem metabolism.
Project description:Exposure of adipocytes of rats to CdCl2 caused acceleration of [3-3H]glucose incorporation into lipid maximally at 500 microM in Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer, pH 7.4, containing 0.2% albumin. T.l.c. of the lipids extracted from adipocytes showed that Cd2+ increased labelling of di- and tri-[14C]acylglycerols predominantly. With increasing concentrations of glucose the apparent Km value was not affected by Cd2+, but the V value was increased, similarly to the effect of insulin. In the presence of insulin, Cd2+ (5 microM) exerted a consistent additive effect with a stimulatory effect of insulin on lipogenesis at all concentrations of insulin tested (5-50 mu units/ml). The stimulation was observed at a high concentration of glucose, suggesting that Cd2+ accelerated intracellular metabolism of glucose, mimicking insulin. However, although Zn2+ and Mn2+ stimulated the transport at a rate similar to that observed with insulin (200 mu units/ml), Cd2+ had no stimulating effect on the membrane transport of 3-O-methylglucose. The biological potency of Cd2+ and the insulin-like effects of Zn2+, both of which metals belong to the same group in the Periodic Table, are similar towards glucose metabolism, but quite different towards glucose transport.
Project description:Metallothionein (MT) is a metal-binding protein rapidly accreted in many tissues in response to trace elements or hormones. To gain an understanding of the regulation of MT accretion, rates of MT synthesis and degradation were determined by using a decay-kinetics technique. A chicken macrophage-cell line (HD11) that rapidly accretes incremental amounts of MT when stimulated with increasing concentrations of Zn2+ or Cd2+ was studied. The maximum rate of MT accretion occurred at 50 microM-Zn2+ or 20 microM-Cd2+. The absolute rate of MT accretion was less in macrophages incubated with 25 microM- as compared with 50 microM-Zn2+, owing to decreased and increased rates of MT synthesis and degradation respectively. The absolute rate of MT accretion was less in macrophages incubated with 10 microM- as compared with 20 microM-Cd2+, owing to a decreased rate of MT synthesis with no change in degradation. Compared with macrophages continually incubated with 50 microM-Zn2+, removal of Zn2+ from medium previously containing 50 microM-Zn2+ decreased the absolute rate of MT accretion, owing to decreased and increased rates of MT synthesis and degradation respectively. Removal of Cd2+ from medium previously containing 20 microM-Cd2+ also decreased the absolute rate of MT accretion in macrophages. Unlike Zn2+ removal, the decrease in MT accretion was due to a decreased rate of MT synthesis with no change in degradation. When macrophages incubated with 50 microM-Zn2+ were subsequently incubated with 20 microM-Cd2+, rates of MT synthesis and accretion were decreased as compared with cells continually incubated with 50 microM-Zn2+ or 20 microM-Cd2+. When macrophages incubated with 20 microM-Cd2+ were subsequently incubated with 50 microM-Zn2+, rates of MT synthesis and accretion were increased as compared with cells continually incubated with 50 microM-Zn2+ or 20 microM-Cd2+. Switching the metal in the incubation medium did not influence the rate of MT degradation. Our results indicate that the rate of MT accretion is determined by variations in the rates of MT synthesis and degradation, depending upon the inducing metal and the concentration of the metal.