Identification of mouse SLC39A8 as the transporter responsible for cadmium-induced toxicity in the testis.
ABSTRACT: Testicular necrosis is a sensitive endpoint for cadmium (Cd(2+), Cd) toxicity across all species tested. Resistance to Cd-induced testicular damage is a recessive trait assigned to the Cdm locus on mouse chromosome 3. We first narrowed the Cdm-gene-containing region to 880 kb. SNP analysis of this region from two sensitive and two resistant inbred strains demonstrated a 400-kb haplotype block consistent with the Cd-induced toxicity phenotype; in this region is the Slc39a8 gene encoding a member of the solute-carrier superfamily. Slc39a8 encodes SLC39A8 (ZIP8), whose homologs in plant and yeast are putative zinc transporters. We show here that ZRT-, IRT-like protein (ZIP)8 expression in cultured mouse fetal fibroblasts leads to a >10-fold increase in the rate of intracellular Cd influx and accumulation and 30-fold increase in sensitivity to Cd-induced cell death. The complete ZIP8 mRNA and intron-exon splice junctions have no nucleotide differences between two sensitive and two resistant strains of mice; by using situ hybridization, we found that ZIP8 mRNA is prominent in the vascular endothelial cells of the testis of the sensitive strains of mice but absent in these cells of resistant strains. Slc39a8 is therefore the Cdm gene, defining sensitivity to Cd toxicity specifically in vascular endothelial cells of the testis.
Project description:It has been known for decades that cadmium (Cd) must enter the cell to cause damage, but there was no mechanism to explain genetic differences in response to Cd toxicity until 2005. Starting with the mouse Cdm locus associated with differences in Cd-induced testicular necrosis between inbred strains, a 24.6-centiMorgan region on chromosome 3 was reduced ultimately to 880 kb; in this segment is the Slc39a8 gene encoding the ZIP8 Zn(2+)/HCO(3)(-) symporter. In endothelial cells of the testis vasculature, Cd-sensitive mice exhibit high ZIP8 expression, Cd-resistant mice exhibit very low expression. A 168.7-kb bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) from a 129S6 (Cd-sensitive) BAC library containing the Slc39a8 gene was inserted into the Cd-resistant C57BL/6J genome: Cd treatment produced testicular necrosis in BAC-transgenic BTZIP8-3 mice but not in non-transgenic littermates, thereby proving that the Slc39a8 gene is indeed the Cdm locus. Cd-induced renal failure also occurred in these BTZIP8-3 mice. Immunohistochemistry showed highly expressed ZIP8 protein in the renal proximal tubular epithelial apical surface, suggesting that ZIP8 participates in Cd-induced renal failure. Slc39a14, most closely evolutionarily related to Slc39a8, encodes differentially-spliced products ZIP14A and ZIP14B that display properties similar to ZIP8. ZIP8 in alveolar cells brings environmental Cd into the organism and ZIP14 in intestinal enterocytes carries Cd into the organism and into the hepatocyte. We believe these two transporters function endogenously as Zn(2+)/HCO(3)(-) symporters important in combating inflammation and carrying out other physiological functions; Cd is able to displace the endogenous cation, enter the cell, and produce tissue damage and disease.
Project description:SLC39A8 is an evolutionarily highly conserved gene that encodes the ZIP8 metal cation transporter in all vertebrates. SLC39A8 is ubiquitously expressed, including pluripotent embryonic stem cells; SLC39A8 expression occurs in every cell type examined. Uptake of ZIP8-mediated Mn2+, Zn2+, Fe2+, Se4+, and Co2+ represents endogenous functions-moving these cations into the cell. By way of mouse genetic differences, the phenotype of "subcutaneous cadmium-induced testicular necrosis" was assigned to the Cdm locus in the 1970s. This led to identification of the mouse Slc39a8 gene, its most closely related Slc39a14 gene, and creation of Slc39a8-overexpressing, Slc39a8(neo/neo) knockdown, and cell type-specific conditional knockout mouse lines; the Slc39a8(-/-) global knockout mouse is early-embryolethal. Slc39a8(neo/neo) hypomorphs die between gestational day 16.5 and postnatal day 1-exhibiting severe anemia, dysregulated hematopoiesis, hypoplastic spleen, dysorganogenesis, stunted growth, and hypomorphic limbs. Not surprisingly, genome-wide association studies subsequently revealed human SLC39A8-deficiency variants exhibiting striking pleiotropy-defects correlated with clinical disorders in virtually every organ, tissue, and cell-type: numerous developmental and congenital disorders, the immune system, cardiovascular system, kidney, lung, liver, coagulation system, central nervous system, musculoskeletal system, eye, and gastrointestinal tract. Traits with which SLC39A8-deficiency variants are currently associated include Mn2+-deficient hypoglycosylation; numerous birth defects; Leigh syndrome-like mitochondrial redox deficiency; decreased serum high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels; increased body mass index; greater risk of coronary artery disease, hypotension, cardiovascular death, allergy, ischemic stroke, schizophrenia, Parkinson disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn disease, myopia, and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; systemic lupus erythematosus with primary Sjögren syndrome; decreased height; and inadvertent participation in the inflammatory progression of osteoarthritis.
Project description:Cadmium is a nonessential toxic metal in mammals. Its toxicity is mainly caused by interactions with cellular proteins that result in protein dysfunction and then disturb normal cellular functions. Glutathione (GSH) has been reported to play a role in cadmium resistance by serving as a cofactor for multidrug resistance protein 1/GS-X pump-mediated cadmium elimination. To further investigate the role of GSH in cadmium toxicity, we carried out a comparative study using small-cell lung cancer-derived cell lines, SR3A, and those that were stably transfected with glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC), a rate-limiting enzyme in GSH biosynthesis. These GCLC stably transfected cell lines produced higher levels of GSH and were more resistant to cadmium toxicity than the parental cell line was. The rates of cadmium uptake were reduced in these GCLC-transfected cell lines, which were associated with down-regulation of the cadmium transporter ZIP8/SLC39A8. Further analyses demonstrated that Sp1 binding site at the proximal promoter region of ZIP8 was sensitive to the GSH level and that the expression level of transcription factor Sp1 was reduced by increased GSH levels. We also demonstrated that low concentrations of cadmium exposure down-regulated ZIP8 expression with concomitant reduction of Sp1 expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate the importance of Sp1 in the regulation of ZIP8 expression. More important, our results reveal a new mechanism by which elevated GSH levels confer cadmium resistance by down-regulation of ZIP8 expression through the suppression of Sp1.
Project description:Genetic variants at the solute carrier family 39 member 8 (SLC39A8) gene locus are associated with the regulation of whole-blood manganese (Mn) and multiple physiological traits. SLC39A8 encodes ZIP8, a divalent metal ion transporter best known for zinc transport. Here, we hypothesized that ZIP8 regulates Mn homeostasis and Mn-dependent enzymes to influence metabolism. We generated Slc39a8-inducible global-knockout (ZIP8-iKO) and liver-specific-knockout (ZIP8-LSKO) mice and observed markedly decreased Mn levels in multiple organs and whole blood of both mouse models. By contrast, liver-specific overexpression of human ZIP8 (adeno-associated virus-ZIP8 [AAV-ZIP8]) resulted in increased tissue and whole blood Mn levels. ZIP8 expression was localized to the hepatocyte canalicular membrane, and bile Mn levels were increased in ZIP8-LSKO and decreased in AAV-ZIP8 mice. ZIP8-LSKO mice also displayed decreased liver and kidney activity of the Mn-dependent enzyme arginase. Both ZIP8-iKO and ZIP8-LSKO mice had defective protein N-glycosylation, and humans homozygous for the minor allele at the lead SLC39A8 variant showed hypogalactosylation, consistent with decreased activity of another Mn-dependent enzyme, β-1,4-galactosyltransferase. In summary, hepatic ZIP8 reclaims Mn from bile and regulates whole-body Mn homeostasis, thereby modulating the activity of Mn-dependent enzymes. This work provides a mechanistic basis for the association of SLC39A8 with whole-blood Mn, potentially linking SLC39A8 variants with other physiological traits.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated elevated levels of iron (Fe) in brains of patients with Huntington's disease (HD). Striatal cells carrying mutated Huntingtin presented increased sensitivity to cadmium (Cd) toxicity, decreased sensitivity to manganese (Mn) toxicity and deficits in Mn uptake. The hypothesis arose that the observed alterations result from the altered expression and/or activity of proteins engaged in the transport of these metals, that is: transferrin (TF), transferrin receptor (TFR), divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) and ZIP8 protein. Here we examined the expression levels of genes encoding these proteins in blood of HD patients and control subjects. A decreasing tendency in the level of TF transcript and increasing tendency of SLC11A2 mRNA encoding DMT1 was observed in the blood of HD patients compared to the control subjects, but neither attained statistical significance. No changes were found in the levels of TFRC coding for TFR and SLC39A8 coding for ZIP8 between HD patients and controls. The results indicate that HD-associated changes in metal homeostasis occur are not related to mechanisms other than the expression level of the here analyzed metal transporters.
Project description:Previously this laboratory has identified the mouse Slc39a8 gene encoding the ZIP8 transporter, important in cadmium uptake. ZIP8 functions endogenously as a electroneutral Zn(2+)/(HCO(3)(-))(2) symporter, moving both ions into the cell. The overall physiological importance of ZIP8 remains unclear. Herein we describe generation of a mouse line carrying the Slc39a8(neo) allele, containing the Frt-flanked neomycin-resistance (neo) mini-cassette in intron 3 and loxP sites in introns 3 and 6. Cre recombinase functions correctly in Escherichia coli and in adeno-Cre-infected mouse fetal fibroblasts, but does not function in the intact mouse for reasons not clear. Slc39a8(neo) is a hypomorphic allele, because Slc39a8(neo/neo) homozygotes exhibit dramatically decreased ZIP8 expression in embryo, fetus, and visceral yolk sac - in comparison to their littermate wild-type controls. This ZIP8 hypomorph will be instrumental in studying developmental and in utero physiological functions of the ZIP8 transporter.
Project description:Previously this laboratory characterized Slc39a8-encoded ZIP8 as a Zn(2+)/(HCO(3)(-))(2) symporter; yet, the overall physiological importance of ZIP8 at the whole-organism level remains unclear. Herein we describe the phenotype of the hypomorphic Slc39a8(neo/neo) mouse which has retained the neomycin-resistance gene in intron 3, hence causing significantly decreased ZIP8 mRNA and protein levels in embryo, fetus, placenta, yolk sac, and several tissues of neonates. The Slc39a8(neo) allele is associated with diminished zinc and iron uptake in mouse fetal fibroblast and liver-derived cultures; consequently, Slc39a8(neo/neo) newborns exhibit diminished zinc and iron levels in several tissues. Slc39a8(neo/neo) homozygotes from gestational day(GD)-11.5 onward are pale, growth-stunted, and die between GD18.5 and 48 h postnatally. Defects include: severely hypoplastic spleen; hypoplasia of liver, kidney, lung, and lower limbs. Histologically, Slc39a8(neo/neo) neonates show decreased numbers of hematopoietic islands in yolk sac and liver. Low hemoglobin, hematocrit, red cell count, serum iron, and total iron-binding capacity confirmed severe anemia. Flow cytometry of fetal liver cells revealed the erythroid series strikingly affected in the hypomorph. Zinc-dependent 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase, required for heme synthesis, was not different between Slc39a8(+/+) and Slc39a8(neo/neo) offspring. To demonstrate further that the mouse phenotype is due to ZIP8 deficiency, we bred Slc39a8(+/neo) with BAC-transgenic BTZIP8-3 line (carrying three extra copies of the Slc39a8 allele); this cross generated viable Slc39a8(neo/neo)_BTZIP8-3(+/+) pups showing none of the above-mentioned congenital defects-proving Slc39a8(neo/neo) causes the described phenotype. Our study demonstrates that ZIP8-mediated zinc transport plays an unappreciated critical role during in utero and neonatal growth, organ morphogenesis, and hematopoiesis.
Project description:Slc39a8 encodes ZIP8, a divalent cation/bicarbonate symporter expressed in pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells, and therefore ubiquitous in adult tissues; ZIP8 influxes Zn2+, Mn2+ and Fe2+. Slc39a8(neo/neo) knockdown mice exhibit 10-15% of wild-type ZIP8 mRNA and protein levels, and show pleiotropic phenotype of stunted growth, neonatal lethality, multi-organ dysmorphogenesis, and dysregulated hematopoiesis manifested as severe anemia. Herein we performed RNA-seq analysis of gestational day (GD)13.5 yolk sac and placenta, and GD16.5 liver, kidney, lung, heart and cerebellum, comparing Slc39a8(neo/neo) with Slc39a8(+/+) wild-type. Meta-data analysis of differentially-expressed genes revealed 29 unique genes from all tissues - having enriched GO categories associated with hematopoiesis and hypoxia and KEGG categories of complement, response to infection, and coagulation cascade - consistent with dysregulated hematopoietic stem cell fate. Based on transcription factor (TF) profiles in the JASPAR database, and searching for TF-binding sites enriched by Pscan, we identified numerous genes encoding zinc-finger and other TFs associated with hematopoietic stem cell functions. We conclude that, in this mouse model, deficient ZIP8-mediated divalent cation transport affects zinc-finger (e.g. GATA proteins) and other TFs interacting with GATA proteins (e.g. TAL1), predominantly in yolk sac. These data strongly support the phenotype of dysmorphogenesis and anemia seen in Slc39a8(neo/neo) mice in utero.
Project description:Zinc ion (Zn2+) is essential for life; its deficiency in the human body could cause stunted growth, anemia and susceptibility to infection. The Zn transporter ZIP8 (also known as SLC39A8) is an important Zn2+ importer; aberrant Zn2+ influx mediated by ZIP8 can lead to the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis and inflammatory diseases. ZIP8 also mediates the cellular uptake of divalent metal ions including iron, manganese, and the toxic heavy metal cadmium. Individuals with SLC39A8 mutations and transgenic mouse models are starting to reveal the critical role that this gene plays in embryonic development and the metabolism of essential metal ions. Here we summarize our current understanding of ZIP8's function and regulation, at both the molecular and biological levels. We also review the association of ZIP8 with various diseases and its linkage with complex disorders like obesity, hypertension, and schizophrenia as revealed by several large genome-wide association studies.
Project description:ZIP8 (SLC39A8) belongs to the ZIP family of metal-ion transporters. Among the ZIP proteins, ZIP8 is most closely related to ZIP14, which can transport iron, zinc, manganese, and cadmium. Here we investigated the iron transport ability of ZIP8, its subcellular localization, pH dependence, and regulation by iron. Transfection of HEK 293T cells with ZIP8 cDNA enhanced the uptake of (59)Fe and (65)Zn by 200 and 40%, respectively, compared with controls. Excess iron inhibited the uptake of zinc and vice versa. In RNA-injected Xenopus oocytes, ZIP8-mediated (55)Fe(2+) transport was saturable (K(0.5) of ?0.7 ?m) and inhibited by zinc. ZIP8 also mediated the uptake of (109)Cd(2+), (57)Co(2+), (65)Zn(2+) > (54)Mn(2+), but not (64)Cu (I or II). By using immunofluorescence analysis, we found that ZIP8 expressed in HEK 293T cells localized to the plasma membrane and partially in early endosomes. Iron loading increased total and cell-surface levels of ZIP8 in H4IIE rat hepatoma cells. We also determined by using site-directed mutagenesis that asparagine residues 40, 88, and 96 of rat ZIP8 are glycosylated and that N-glycosylation is not required for iron or zinc transport. Analysis of 20 different human tissues revealed abundant ZIP8 expression in lung and placenta and showed that its expression profile differs markedly from ZIP14, suggesting nonredundant functions. Suppression of endogenous ZIP8 expression in BeWo cells, a placental cell line, reduced iron uptake by ?40%, suggesting that ZIP8 participates in placental iron transport. Collectively, these data identify ZIP8 as an iron transport protein that may function in iron metabolism.