BioMetals (v.23, #6)

This study sets out to compare the absorption and toxicity of Cadmium (Cd) administered via the food-chain and inorganic Cd administered in drinking water after 1 and 3 months exposure using rats as animal model. The food-chain was mimicked by exposing rats to diet containing Cd pre-exposed fish. The uptake of Cd by the rats after both mode of exposure was calculated by summing up the Cd burden in the liver and kidneys and was expressed in terms of % intake. The toxicity of Cd was assessed by monitoring biochemical indices of liver function in the plasma and liver. Regardless of the mode of exposure of the rats, the Cd load in the liver and kidney was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the respective controls with the kidney having a significantly higher load than the liver after both periods of exposure. However irrespective of the mode of exposure, more Cd was accumulated in the liver and kidney of the 3 months exposed rats relative to those exposed for 1 month. The uptake of Cd by rats exposed to Cd via the food-chain for 1 and 3 months was significantly (P < 0.05) lower when compared to the corresponding water mediated Cd exposed rats, except for the liver after 3 months of exposure. The liver l-ALT activity of rats administered inorganic Cd in drinking water for 1 and 3 months was significantly (P < 0.05) lower as compared to controls. Parallel analysis of the plasma showed no significant (P > 0.05) difference in l-ALT activity between both groups after the same periods of exposure. The l-AST activity in the plasma of rats similarly exposed to Cd for 1 and 3 months was significantly (P < 0.05) higher as compared to controls with a corresponding reduction in the liver. Conversely no significant (P > 0.05) change was observed in plasma and liver l-ALT and l-AST activities after food-chain mediated exposure to Cd for 1 and 3 months in relation to their respective controls. These findings indicate that Cd incorporated in fish is more easily bioavailable, but less toxic relative to inorganic Cd salts at the end of 3 months of exposure in rats.
Keywords: Cadmium; Food-chain; Bioavailability; Liver function; Rats

Cadmium induced mitochondrial redox changes in germinating pea seed by Moêz Smiri; Abdelilah Chaoui; Nicolas Rouhier; Chibani Kamel; Eric Gelhaye; Jean-Pierre Jacquot; Ezzedine El Ferjani (973-984).
Mitochondria play an essential role in producing the energy required for seedling growth following imbibition. Heavy metals, such as cadmium impair mitochondrial functioning in part by altering redox regulation. The activities of two protein redox systems present in mitochondria, thioredoxin (Trx) and glutaredoxin (Grx), were analysed in the cotyledons and embryo of pea (Pisum sativum L.) germinating seeds exposed to toxic Cd concentration. Compared to controls, Cd-treated germinating seeds showed a decrease in total soluble protein content, but an increase in –SH content. Under Cd stress conditions, Grx and glutathione reductase (GR) activities as well as glutathione (GSH) concentrations decreased both in cotyledons and the embryo. Similar results were obtained with the Trx system: Trx and NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase (NTR) activities were not stimulated, whereas total NAD(P) contents diminished in the embryo. However, Cd enhanced the levels of all components of the Trx system in the cotyledons. On the other hand, Cd caused a significant increase in oxidative stress parameters such as the redox ratio of coenzymes (oxidized to reduced forms) and NAD(P)H oxidase activities. These results indicate that Cd induces differential redox responses on different seed tissues. We suggest that neither Grx system nor Trx one may improve the redox status of mitochondrial thiols in the embryo of germinating pea seeds exposed to Cd toxicity, but in the cotyledons the contribution of Trx/NTR/NADPH can be established in despite the vulnerability of the coenzyme pools due to enzymatic oxidation.
Keywords: Cadmium; Germination; Mitochondria; Pea; Redox

Silymarin, a natural antioxidant, protects cerebral cortex against manganese-induced neurotoxicity in adult rats by Yassine Chtourou; Hamadi Fetoui; Mediha Sefi; Khaled Trabelsi; Mohamed Barkallah; Tahia Boudawara; Héla Kallel; Najiba Zeghal (985-996).
Manganese (Mn) is an essential element for biological systems, nevertheless occupational exposure to high levels of Mn can lead to neurodegenerative disorders, characterized by serious oxidative and neurotoxic effects with similarities to Parkinson’s disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential effects of silymarin (SIL), an antioxidant flavonoid, against manganese chloride induced neurotoxicity both in vivo (cerebral cortex of rats) and in vitro (Neuro2a cells). Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: the first group (C) received vehicle solution (i.p.) served as controls. The second group (Mn) received orally manganese chloride (20 mg/ml). The third group (Mn + SIL) received both Mn and SIL. The fourth group (SIL) received only SIL (100 mg/kg/day, i.p.). Animals exposed to Manganese chloride showed a significant increase in TBARS, NO, AOPP and PCO levels in cerebral cortex. These changes were accompanied by a decrease of enzymatic (SOD, CAT, GPx) and non-enzymatic (GSH, NpSH, Vit C) antioxidants. Co-administration of silymarin to Mn-treated rats significantly improved antioxidant enzyme activities and attenuated oxidative damages observed in brain tissue. The potential effect of SIL to prevent Mn induced neurotoxicity was also reflected by the microscopic study, indicative of its neuroprotective effects. We concluded that silymarin possesses neuroprotective potential, thus validating its use in alleviating manganese-induced neurodegenerative effects.
Keywords: Manganese toxicity; Cerebral cortex; Oxidative stress; Silymarin

Zinc(II) ion mediates tamoxifen-induced autophagy and cell death in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line by Jung Jin Hwang; Ha Na Kim; Jean Kim; Dong-Hyung Cho; Mi Joung Kim; Yong-Sook Kim; Yunha Kim; Sung-Jin Park; Jae-Young Koh (997-1013).
Treatment of MCF-7 cells with tamoxifen induced vacuole formation and cell death. Levels of the autophagy marker, microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)-II also increased, and GFP-LC3 accumulated in and around vacuoles in MCF-7 cells exposed to tamoxifen, indicating that autophagy is involved in tamoxifen-induced changes. Live-cell confocal microscopy with FluoZin-3 staining and transmission electron microscopy with autometallographic staining revealed that labile zinc(II) ion (Zn2+) accumulated in most acidic LC3(+) autophagic vacuoles (AVs). Chelation of Zn2+ with N,N,N,N′-tetrakis (2-pyridylmethyl) ethylenediamine (TPEN) blocked the increase in phospho-Erk and LC3-II levels, and attenuated AV formation and cell death. Conversely, the addition of ZnCl2 markedly potentiated tamoxifen-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) activation, autophagy and cell death, indicating that Zn2+ has an important role in these events. Tamoxifen-induced death was accompanied by increased oxidative stress and lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) represented as release of lysosomal cathepsins into cytosol. Treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) blunted the increase in Zn2+ levels and reduced LC3-II conversion, cathepsin D release and cell death induced by tamoxifen. And cathepsin inhibitors attenuated cell death, indicating that LMP contributes to tamoxifen-induced cell death. Moreover, TPEN blocked tamoxifen-induced cathepsin D release and increase in oxidative stress. The present results indicate that Zn2+ contributes to tamoxifen-induced autophagic cell death via increase in oxidative stress and induction of LMP.
Keywords: Cathepsin; Extracellular signal-regulated kinase; Lysosome; Lysosomal membrane permeabilization; Microtuble-associated protein light chain 3; Oxidative stress

Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial properties of a Co(II)-phthalylsulfathiazolate complex by Laura Monti; Ana Pontoriero; Natalia Mosconi; Cecilia Giulidori; Estela Hure; Patricia A. M. Williams; María Victoria Rodríguez; Gabriela Feresin; Darío Campagnoli; Marcela Rizzotto (1015-1028).
The reaction between phthalylsulfathiazole (H2PST), in alkaline aqueous solution, and cobalt(II) nitrate led to a pink solid, [Co(PST)(H2O)4] (1), which was characterized by elemental and thermogravimetric analysis; FT-IR, Raman and diffuse reflectance spectra. Spectroscopic data reveal that the ligand would be doubly deprotonated and that the Co(II) ion environment is a distorted octahedral one. (1) showed antibacterial activity similar to the ligand.
Keywords: Phthalylsulfathiazole; Sulfadrugs metal complexes; Cobalt complexes; Antifungal properties; Antibacterial properties

Iron-limited cells of the green alga Chlorella kesslerii use a reductive mechanism to acquire Fe(III) from the extracellular environment, in which a plasma membrane ferric reductase reduces Fe(III)-chelates to Fe(II), which is subsequently taken up by the cell. Previous work has demonstrated that synthetic chelators both support ferric reductase activity (when supplied as Fe(III)-chelates) and inhibit ferric reductase. In the present set of experiments we extend these observations to naturally-occurring chelators and their analogues (desferrioxamine B mesylate, schizokinen, two forms of dihydroxybenzoic acid) and also two formulations of the commonly-used herbicide N-(phoshonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate). The ferric forms of the larger siderophores (desferrioxamine B mesylate, schizokinen) and Fe(III)-N-(phoshonomethyl)glycine (as the isopropylamine salt) all supported rapid rates of ferric reductase activity, while the iron-free forms inhibited reductase activity. The smaller siderophores/siderophore precursors, 2,3- and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acids, did not support high rates of reductase in the ferric form but did inhibit reductase activity in the iron-free form. Bioassays indicated that Fe(III)-chelates that supported high rates of ferric reductase activity also supported a large stimulation in the growth of iron-limited cells, and that an excess of iron-free chelator decreased the growth rate. With respect to N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, there were differences between the pure compound (free acid form) and the most common commercial formulation (which also contains isopropylamine) in terms of supporting and inhibiting ferric reductase activity and growth. Overall, these results suggest that photosynthetic organisms that use a reductive strategy for iron acquisition both require, and are potentially simultaneously inhibited by, ferric chelators. Furthermore, these results also may provide an explanation for the frequently contradictory results of N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine application to crops: we suggest that low concentrations of this molecule likely solubilize Fe(III), making it available for plant growth, but that higher (but sub-lethal) concentrations decrease iron acquisition by inhibiting ferric reductase activity.
Keywords: Algae; Chelators; Chlorella ; Desferrioxamine B; Ferric reductase; Glyphosate; Iron limitation; Schizokinen; Siderophores

The study purpose was to compare the quantitative results from tests for urinary porphyrins, where some of these porphyrins are known biomarkers of heavy metal toxicity, to the independent assessments from a recognized quantitative measurement, the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), of specific domains of autistic disorders symptoms (Speech/Language, Sociability, Sensory/Cognitive Awareness, and Health/Physical/Behavior) in a group of children having a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After a Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) evaluation to assess the development of each child in this study and aid in confirming their classification, and an ATEC was completed by a parent, a urinary porphyrin profile sample was collected and sent out for blinded analysis. Urinary porphyrins from twenty-four children, 2–13 years of age, diagnosed with autism or PDD-NOS were compared to their ATEC scores as well as their scores in the specific domains (Speech/Language, Sociability, Sensory/Cognitive Awareness, and Health/Physical/Behavior) assessed by ATEC. Their urinary porphyrin samples were evaluated at Laboratoire Philippe Auguste (which is an ISO-approved clinical laboratory). The results of the study indicated that the participants’ overall ATEC scores and their scores on each of the ATEC subscales (Speech/Language, Sociability, Sensory/Cognitive Awareness, and Health/Physical/Behavior) were linearly related to urinary porphyrins associated with mercury toxicity. The results show an association between the apparent level of mercury toxicity as measured by recognized urinary porphyrin biomarkers of mercury toxicity and the magnitude of the specific hallmark features of autism as assessed by ATEC.
Keywords: Toxicity; Mercury; CARS; ATEC; ASDs; Asperger’s; Autism; PDD-NOS; Porphyrins; Biomarkers; Susceptibility

Cu(II): a “signaling molecule” of the mangrove endophyte Fusarium oxysporum ZZF51? by Jia-hui Pan; Yong-cheng Lin; Ni Tan; Yu-cheng Gu (1053-1060).
We previously reported the isolation of Cu–fusaric acid (Cu–FA) complex from the mangrove endophyte Fusarium oxysporum ZZF51. In this study, we explored the mechanism of Cu–FA production in the strain ZZF51 by comparing with that of another endophyte Fusarium sp. B2, which produced FA but not Cu–FA in the same culture condition. The results allowed us to hypothesize that Cu2+ may act as a “signaling molecule” to awaken the silent FA biosynthetic genes in ZZF51, inducing intracellular production of FA followed by chelation with Cu2+. This signaling network was triggered specifically by Cu2+ and may be interfered by other metal ions.
Keywords: Copper–fusaric acid; Fusarium sp.; Signaling molecule

In fibroblasts, beryllium salt causes activation of the p53 transcription factor and induction of a senescence-like state. It is not known whether Be2+ can affect the proliferation of cancer cells, which are generally unsusceptible to senescence. A172 glioblastoma and RKO colon carcinoma cell lines each have wildtype p53, so these cell types have the potential to be responsive to agents that activate p53. In A172 cells, BeSO4 produced a G0/G1-phase cell cycle arrest and increased expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase, an enzymatic marker of senescence. BeSO4 caused phosphorylation of serine-15 of p53, accumulation of p53 protein, and expression of p21, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that is prominent during senescence. BeSO4 inhibited A172 growth with an IC50 = 4.7 μM in a 6-day proliferation assay. In contrast, BeSO4 had no effect on RKO cells, even though Be2+ uptake was similar for the two cell types. This differential responsiveness marks BeSO4 as a reagent capable of activating a separable branch of the p53 signaling network. A172 and RKO cells are known to exhibit p53-dependent upregulation of p21 in response to DNA damage. The RKO cells produced high levels of p21 when exposed to DNA damaging agents, yet failed to express p21 when treated with BeSO4. Conversely, BeSO4 did not cause DNA damage in A172 cells, yet it was a potent inducer of p21 expression. These observations indicate that the growth control pathway affected by BeSO4 is distinct from the DNA damage response pathway, even though both ultimately converge on p53 and p21.
Keywords: Beryllium sulfate; Cell cycle arrest; Senescence; p53; Glioma

The DNA binding and cleavage properties of quercetin nickel (II) complex have been studied, but little attention has been devoted to the relationship between antitumor activity of this complex and DNA-binding properties. In the present study, we report that quercetin nickel (II) complex showed significant cytotoxicity against three tumor cell lines (HepG2, SMMC7721 and A549). Hoechst33258 and AO/EB staining showed HepG2 cells underwent the typical morphologic changes of apoptosis characterized by nuclear shrinkage, chromatin condensation, or fragmentation after exposure to quercetin nickel (II) complex. We also demonstrate that the levels of survivin and bcl-2 protein expression in HepG2 cells decreased concurrently, and the levels of p53 protein increased significantly after treatment with quercetin nickel (II) complex by immunocytochemistry analysis. The relative activity of caspase-3 and caspase-9 increased significantly after treatment with the complex. Furthermore, fluorescence measurements and molecular modeling were performed to learn that the complex could be preferentially bound to DNA in GC region. These results imply that quercetin nickel (II) complex may intercalate into the GC-rich core promoter region of survivin, down-regulating survivin gene expression and promoting tumor cells apoptosis. So our results suggest that antitumor activity of quercetin nickel (II) complex might be related to its intercalation into DNA and DNA-binding selectivity, and that the complex may be a promising agent for cancer therapy.
Keywords: Quercetin nickel (II) complex; Selective DNA binding; Antitumor activity; Survivin; GC-rich

Apolipoprotein E ablation decreases synaptic vesicular zinc in the brain by Joo-Yong Lee; Eunsil Cho; Tae-Youn Kim; Dong-Kyu Kim; Richard D. Palmiter; Irene Volitakis; Jong S. Kim; Ashley I. Bush; Jae-Young Koh (1085-1095).
Both apolipoprotein E (apoE) and zinc are involved in amyloid β (Aβ) aggregation and deposition, in the hallmark neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recent studies have suggested that interaction of apoE with metal ions may accelerate amyloidogenesis in the brain. Here we examined the impact of apoE deficiency on the histochemically reactive zinc pool in the brains of apoE knockout mice. While there was no change in total contents of metals (zinc, copper, and iron), the level of histochemically reactive zinc (principally synaptic zinc) was significantly reduced in the apoE-deficient brain compared to wild-type. This reduction was accompanied by reduced expressions of the presynaptic zinc transporter, ZnT3, as well as of the δ-subunit of the adaptor protein complex-3 (AP3δ), which is responsible for post-translational stability and activity of ZnT3. In addition, the level of histochemically reactive zinc was also decreased in the cerebrovascular micro-vessels of apoE-deficient mice, the site of cerebral amyloid angiopathy in AD. These results suggest that apoE may affect the cerebral free zinc pool that contributes to AD pathology.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid β; Metal; Zinc transporters

Zinc metal nanoparticles strongly enhance odorant responses of olfactory receptor neurons. Olfactory receptors belong to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. A theoretical model based on experimental results explains a stoichiometry of metal nanoparticles receptor interaction. The model is similar to that used by A.V. Hill for the binding reaction between hemoglobin and oxygen. The model predicted that one metal nanoparticle binds two receptor molecules to create a dimer. This result is consistent with the evidence that many G-protein-coupled receptors form dimers or larger oligomers.
Keywords: Zinc metal clusters; Smell; Olfaction; Receptors; G-proteins; Oligomers

Genome-wide transcriptome analysis of the adaptive response of Enterococcus faecalis to copper exposure by Angélica Reyes-Jara; Mauricio Latorre; Guadalupe López; Agathe Bourgogne; Barbara E. Murray; Verónica Cambiazo; Mauricio González (1105-1112).
In this work we investigated the adaptive response of E. faecalis to Cu and the role of CopY, a Cu-dependent repressor, in the regulation of Cu metabolism. In doing so, we examined the whole-genome transcriptional response of E. faecalis wild-type (WT) and a ΔcopY strain exposed to non-toxic Cu excess. The results indicated that after Cu exposure, most of the genes that displayed a significant change in their expression levels in the WT strain (135 of the 145 up-regulated genes and 115 of the 142 down-regulated genes) were also differentially expressed in the E. faecalis ΔcopY strain. This extensive overlap in the transcriptional response, suggested that additional transcription factors mediate the response of E. faecalis to Cu. As a first step to analyze this possibility, we selected among the up-regulated genes five genes encoding putative transcriptional regulators and determined their expression levels at different times after Cu exposure. The temporal expression of these regulators was different from that of copY, which reached its maximum at the earliest time measured. Nevertheless, transcription elongation factor GreA, and members of Rrf2, Cro/CI and SorC/DeoR transcription factor families were induced shortly after Cu exposure, suggesting that these proteins are able to complement the role of CopY in the regulatory network activated by Cu. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the global transcriptional response to Cu in a member of this taxonomic group.
Keywords: E. faecalis ; Copper homeostasis; Global gene expression; Real-time RT-PCR; CopY

The 3′-exonuclease from human plasma is a soluble form of nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (NPP1) (EC 3.1.4.1/EC 3.6.1.9). Here, the possibility of divalent cation influence for the 3′-exonuclease activity was investigated using the phosphorothioate congener of oligonucleotide containing all phosphorothioate internucleotide linkages of the [RP]-configuration ([RP-PS]-d[T12]) as the substrate for this enzyme. It was found that the 3′-exonuclease is a metalloenzyme, i.e. its phosphodiesterase activity was completely abolished at 0.8 mM concentration EDTA and, in turn, it was restored in the presence of Mg2+ or Mn2+ ions. In addition, Mg2+ can be replaced effectively by Ca2+, Mn2+, or Co2+, but not by Ni2+ and Cd2+ during the hydrolysis of the phosphorothioate substrate in human plasma. In addition, the mechanism is postulated, by which a single internucleotide phosphorothioate bond of the SP-configuration at the 3′-end of unmodified phosphodiesters (PO-oligos), or their phosporothioate analogs (PS-oligos) protects these compounds against degradation in blood.
Keywords: The human plasma 3′-exonuclease; NPP1; Catalysis; Phosphorothioates

The effect of formalin fixation on the levels of brain transition metals in archived samples by Matthew Schrag; April Dickson; Arshad Jiffry; David Kirsch; Harry V. Vinters; Wolff Kirsch (1123-1127).
Reports that iron, zinc and copper homeostasis are in aberrant homeostasis are common for various neurodegenerative diseases, particularly for Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Manipulating the levels of these elements in the brain through the application of chelators has been and continues to be tested therapeutically in clinical trials with mixed results. Much of the data indicating that these metals are abnormally concentrated in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease brain tissue was generated through the analysis of post-mortem human tissue which was archived in formalin. In this study, we evaluated the effect of formalin fixation of brain on the levels of three important transition metals (iron, copper, and zinc) by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Paired brain specimens were obtained at autopsy for each case; one was conserved by formalin archival (averaging four years), the other was rapidly frozen. Both white and grey matter samples were analyzed and the concentrations of iron and zinc were found to decrease with fixation. Iron was reduced by 40% (P < 0.01), and zinc by 77% (P < 0.0001); copper concentrations increased by 37% (P < 0.05) by the paired T-test. The increase in copper is likely due to contamination from trace copper in the formalin. These results indicate that transition metal data obtained from fixed tissue may be heavily distorted and care should be taken in interpreting this data.
Keywords: Transition metals; Formalin; Fixation; Alzheimer’s disease; Leaching

Proteogenomic and functional analysis of chromate reduction in Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5, an Fe(III)-respiring acidophile by Timothy S. Magnuson; Michael W. Swenson; Andrzej J. Paszczynski; Lee A. Deobald; David Kerk; David E. Cummings (1129-1138).
Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5, an acidophilic iron-respiring Alphaproteobacterium, has the ability to reduce chromate under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, making it an intriguing and useful model organism for the study of extremophilic bacteria in bioremediation applications. Genome sequence annotation suggested two potential mechanisms of Cr(VI) reduction, namely, a number of c-type cytochromes, and a predicted NADPH-dependent Cr(VI) reductase. In laboratory studies using pure cultures of JF-5, an NADPH-dependent chromate reductase activity was detected primarily in soluble protein fractions, and a periplasmic c-type cytochrome (ApcA) was also present, representing two potential means of Cr(VI) reduction. Upon further examination, it was determined that the NADPH-dependent activity was not specific for Cr(VI), and the predicted proteins were not detected in Cr(VI)-grown cultures. Proteomic data did show measureable amounts of ApcA in cells grown with Cr(VI). Purified ApcA is reducible by menadiol, and in turn can reduce Cr(VI), suggesting a means to obtain electrons from the respiratory chain and divert them to Cr(VI). Electrochemical measurements confirm that Cr reduction by ApcA is pH dependent, with low pH being favored. Homology modeling of ApcA and comparison to a known Cr(VI)-reducing c-type cytochrome structure revealed basic amino acids which could interact with chromate ion. From these studies, it can be concluded that A. cryptum has the physiologic and genomic capability to reduce Cr(VI) to the less toxic Cr(III). However, the expected chromate reductase mechanism may not be the primary means of Cr(VI) reduction in this organism.
Keywords: Acidophile; Chromium reduction; Cytochrome c ; Proteomics

Inhibition protein tyrosine phosphatases by an oxovanadium glutamate complex, Na2[VO(Glu)2(CH3OH)](Glu = glutamate) by Liping Lu; Sulian Wang; Miaoli Zhu; Zhiwei Liu; Maolin Guo; Shu Xing; Xueqi Fu (1139-1147).
The insulin-sensitizing effect of vanadium complexes has been linked to their ability to inhibit protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Considering that vanadium complexes may exchange in vivo with amino acids, forming in situ vanadium–amino acid complexes, we have synthesized and characterized an oxovanadium glutamate complex, Na2[V(IV)O(Glu)2(CH3OH)]H2O (1·H2O). The complex showed potent inhibition against four human PTPs (PTP1B, TCPTP, HePTP, and SHP-1) with IC50 in the 0.21–0.37 μM ranges. Fluorescence titration studies suggest that the complex binds to PTP1B with the formation of a 2:1 complex. Enzyme kinetics analysis using Lineweaver–Burk plots indicates a typical competitive inhibition mode.
Keywords: Protein tyrosine phosphatases; Inhibition; Oxovanadium–glutamate complex; Fluorescence

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of nickel on shoot regeneration in tissue culture as well as to identify polymorphisms induced in leaf explants exposed to nickel through random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). In vitro leaf explants of Jatropha curcas were grown in nickel amended Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium at four different concentrations (0, 0.01, 0.1, 1 mM) for 3 weeks. Percent regeneration, number of shoots produced and genotoxic effects were evaluated by RAPD using leaf explants obtained from the first three treatments following 5 weeks of their subsequent subculture in metal free MS medium. Percent regeneration decreased with increase in addition of nickel to the medium up to 14 days from 42.31% in control to zero in 1.0 mM. The number of shoot buds scored after 5 weeks was higher in control as compared to all other treatments except in one of the metal free subculture medium wherein the shoot number was higher in 0.01 mM treatment (mean = 7.80) than control (mean = 7.60). RAPD analysis produced only 5 polymorphic bands (3.225%) out of a total of 155 bands from 18 selected primers. Only three primers OPK-19, OPP-2, OPN-08 produced polymorphic bands. The dendrogram showed three groups A, B, and C. Group A samples showed 100% genetic similarity within them. Samples between groups B and C were more genetically distant from each other as compared to samples between groups A and B as well as groups A and C. Cluster analysis based on RAPD data correlated with treatments.
Keywords: Regeneration; Nickel; Genotoxicity; Molecular markers; Jatropha curcas

Structural characteristic, pH and thermal stabilities of apo and holo forms of caprine and bovine lactoferrins by Ashoka Sreedhara; Ragnar Flengsrud; Thor Langsrud; Purnima Kaul; Vishweshwaraiah Prakash; Gerd Elisabeth Vegarud (1159-1170).
Apo and holo forms of lactoferrin (LF) from caprine and bovine species have been characterized and compared with regard to the structural stability determined by thermal denaturation temperature values (T m), at pH 2.0–8.0. The bovine lactoferrin (bLF) showed highest thermal stability with a T m of 90 ± 1°C at pH 7.0 whereas caprine lactoferrin (cLF) showed a lower T m value 68 ± 1°C. The holo form was much more stable than the apo form for the bLF as compared to cLF. When pH was gradually reduced to 3.0, the T m values of both holo bLF and holo cLF were reduced showing T m values of 49 ± 1 and 40 ± 1°C, respectively. Both apo and holo forms of cLF and bLF were found to be most stable at pH 7.0. A significant loss in the iron content of both holo and apo forms of the cLF and bLF was observed when pH was decreased from 7.0 to 2.0. At the same time a gradual unfolding of the apo and holo forms of both cLF and bLF was shown by maximum exposure of hydrophobic regions at pH 3.0. This was supported with a loss in α-helix structure together with an increase in the content of unordered (aperiodic) structure, while β structure seemed unchanged at all pH values. Since LF is used today as fortifier in many products, like infant formulas and exerts many biological functions in human, the structural changes, iron binding and release affected by pH and thermal denaturation temperature are important factors to be clarified for more than the bovine species.
Keywords: Caprine lactoferrin; Bovine lactoferrin; Apo lactoferrin; Holo lactoferrin; Iron content; Structural stability; pH stability; Thermal denaturation temperature

In vivo and in vitro inhibition of mice thioredoxin reductase by methylmercury by Caroline Wagner; Jéssie H. Sudati; Cristina W. Nogueira; João B. T. Rocha (1171-1177).
The thioredoxin (Trx) system, involving redox active Trxs and thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs), sustain a number of important Trx-dependent pathways. These redox active proteins support several processes crucial for cell function, cell proliferation, antioxidant defense, and redox-regulated signaling cascades. Methylmercury (MeHg) is an important environmental toxicant that has a high affinity for thiol groups and can cause oxidative stress. The Trx system is the major system responsible for maintaining the redox state of cells and this function involves thiol reduction mediated by selenol groups in TrxRs. MeHg has a great affinity to thiols and selenols, thus the potential toxic effects of MeHg on TrxR inhibition were determined in the current study. A single administration of MeHg (1, 5, and 10 mg/Kg) caused a marked inhibition of kidney TrxR activity, while significant inhibition was observed in the liver after exposure to 5 and 10 mg/Kg of MeHg. TrxR activity was determined 24 h after MeHg. In the brain, MeHg did not inhibit TrxR activity. In vitro exposure to MeHg indicated that MeHg inhibits cerebral (IC50, 0.158 μM), hepatic (IC50, 0.071 μM), and renal TrxR activity (IC50, 0.078 μM). The results presented herein demonstrated for the first time that renal and hepatic TrxRs can serve as an in vivo target for MeHg. This study suggests that MeHg can bind to selenocysteine residues present in the catalytic site of TrxR, in turn causing enzyme inhibition that can compromise the redox state of cells.
Keywords: Thioredoxin reductase; Methylmercury toxicity; Thiol; Enzyme inhibition; Kidney damage

Proteomic analysis of lanthanum citrate-induced apoptosis in human cervical carcinoma SiHa cells by Liming Shen; Ziyao Lan; Xiaohong Sun; Lei Shi; Qiong Liu; Jiazuan Ni (1179-1189).
Lanthanides possess diverse biological effect and have been shown to promote cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. Our previous studies showing that lanthanide citrate complex has significant antitumor activity in human cervical cancer HeLa cells. This study aims at determining if [LaCit2]3− have the activity against another type of human cervical cancer cell line SiHa and the changes in protein expression that contribute to the mechanism(s) of [LaCit2]3−-mediated apoptosis in SiHa cells. Cell growth inhibition was measured by MTT method, and apoptosis was detected by means of Hoechst 33258 staining and flow cytometry analysis. After [LaCit2]3−-treatment the results show that the growth of SiHa cells was inhibited, the cells displayed typical apoptosis morphological changes, and increase in the rates of apoptosis. Using proteomics approaches, a variety of differentially expressed proteins were identified in SiHa cells before and after treatment with [LaCit2]3−. There were profound changes in 10 proteins relating to mitochondrial function and oxidative stress, suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in [LaCit2]3−-induced apoptosis. This was confirmed by a decrease in the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm), and increases in H2O2 generation in [LaCit2]3−-treated cells. Among them the alerted proteins, Prx I, ANXA1 and TRAF5 were validated by western blotting analyses. These results suggest that there is an intrinsic molecular pathway of cell apoptosis in [LaCit2]3−-treated SiHa cells. This observation is in accordance with our previous reports about the effects of [LaCit2]3− and [YbCit2]3− on HeLa cells and it provide a molecular mechanism underlying lanthanide citrate complex-mediated cell apoptosis.
Keywords: Lanthanum citrate complex; SiHa cells; Proteomics; Apoptosis

Effect of Ni2+ and Cd2+ ions on thermally induced conformational transitions in poly(dA)-poly(dT) system by Victor N. Zozulya; Olga A. Ryazanova; Nataliya N. Zhigalova; Yurii P. Blagoi (1191-1201).
Effects of Ni2+ and Cd2+ ions on thermally induced conformational transitions in the poly(dA)·poly(dT) polynucleotide duplex and poly(dA)·2poly(dT) triplex under near physiological ionic conditions were studied by measurement of UV absorption melting curves and static light scattering intensity. The diagrams of conformational transitions in poly(dA)-poly(dT)-Me2+ systems were plotted. An aggregation in these polynucleotide systems arises at certain values of the metal ions concentration and the temperature after the polymer dissociation into single strands. The phenomenon is conditioned by the aggregation of poly(dA) via the interstrand cross-linking by the dication bridges. Unlike Ni2+, Cd2+ induces formation of very stable aggregates which did not disintegrate even upon cooling up to room temperature.
Keywords: Ni2+ ; Cd2+ ; Poly(dA)-poly(dT) system; Conformational transitions; Aggregation of poly(dA)