BioMetals (v.30, #5)

Iron metabolism and drug resistance in cancer by Hasan Huseyin Kazan; Cagri Urfali-Mamatoglu; Ufuk Gunduz (629-641).
Iron is an essential inorganic element for various cellular events. It is directly associated with cell proliferation and growth; therefore, it is expected that iron metabolism is altered in tumor cells which usually have rapid growth rates. The studies on iron metabolism of tumor cells have shown that tumor cells necessitated higher concentrations of iron and the genes of iron uptake proteins were highly over-expressed. However, there are limited number of studies on overall iron metabolism in drug-resistant tumor cells. In this article, we evaluated the studies reporting the relationship between drug resistance and iron metabolism and the utilization of this knowledge for the reversal of drug resistance. Also, the studies on iron-related cell death mechanism, ferroptosis, and its relation to drug resistance were reviewed. We focus on the importance of iron metabolism in drug-resistant cancer cells and how alterations in iron metabolism participate in drug-resistant phenotype.
Keywords: Iron metabolism; Chemotherapy; Drug resistance; Ferroptosis

Characterization of zinc amino acid complexes for zinc delivery in vitro using Caco-2 cells and enterocytes from hiPSC by Ann Katrin Sauer; Stefanie Pfaender; Simone Hagmeyer; Laura Tarana; Ann-Kathrin Mattes; Franziska Briel; Sébastien Küry; Tobias M. Boeckers; Andreas M. Grabrucker (643-661).
Zn is essential for growth and development. The bioavailability of Zn is affected by several factors such as other food components. It is therefore of interest, to understand uptake mechanisms of Zn delivering compounds to identify ways to bypass the inhibitory effects of these factors. Here, we studied the effect of Zn amino acid conjugates (ZnAAs) on the bioavailabilty of Zn. We used Caco-2 cells and enterocytes differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells from a control and Acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE) patient, and performed fluorescence based assays, protein biochemistry and atomic absorption spectrometry to characterize cellular uptake and absorption of ZnAAs. The results show that ZnAAs are taken up by AA transporters, leading to an intracellular enrichment of Zn mostly uninhibited by Zn uptake antagonists. Enterocytes from AE patients were unable to gain significant Zn through exposure to ZnCl2 but did not show differences with respect to ZnAAs. We conclude that ZnAAs may possess an advantage over classical Zn supplements such as Zn salts, as they may be able to increase bioavailability of Zn, and may be more efficient in patients with AE.
Keywords: Zip4; Acrodermatitis enteropathica; Absorption; Gastro-intestinal; Enterocyte; hIPSC

Genome-wide identification, in silico characterization and expression analysis of ZIP-like genes from Trichomonas vaginalis in response to Zinc and Iron by K. G. Fernández-Martín; M. E. Alvarez-Sánchez; V. E. Arana-Argáez; L. C. Alvarez-Sánchez; J. C. Lara-Riegos; J. C. Torres-Romero (663-675).
Trace elements such as Zinc and Iron are essential components of metalloproteins and serve as cofactors or structural elements for enzymes involved in several important biological processes in almost all organisms. Because either excess or insufficient levels of Zn and Fe can be harmful for the cells, the homeostatic levels of these trace minerals must be tightly regulated. The Zinc regulated transporter, Iron regulated transporter-like Proteins (ZIP) comprise a diverse family, with several paralogues in diverse organisms and are considered essential for the Zn and Fe uptake and homeostasis. Zn and Fe has been shown to regulate expression of proteins involved in metabolism and pathogenicity mechanisms in the protozoan pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis, in contrast high concentrations of these elements were also found to be toxic for T. vaginalis trophozoites. Nevertheless, Zn and Fe uptake and homeostasis mechanisms is not yet clear in this parasite. We performed a genome-wide analysis and localized the 8 members of the ZIP gene family in T. vaginalis (TvZIP1-8). The bioinformatic programs predicted that the TvZIP proteins are highly conserved and show similar properties to the reported in other ZIP orthologues. The expression patterns of TvZIP1, 3, 5 and 7 were diminished in presence of Zinc, while the rest of the TvZIP genes showed an unchanged profile in this condition. In addition, TvZIP2 and TvZIP4 showed a differential expression pattern in trophozoites growth under different Iron conditions. These results suggest that TvZIP genes encode membrane transporters that may be responsible for the Zn and Fe acquisition in T. vaginalis.
Keywords: Zinc; Iron; ZIP transporters; Trichomonas vaginalis ; Gene family; Expression analysis

While the administration of antivenom to treat hemotoxic snake bite injury remains the gold standard of therapy, we have demonstrated that modifying human fibrinogen with iron and carbon monoxide renders it resistant to fibrinogenolytic snake venom enzymes. In order to translate these findings into a possible biometal-based therapy complementary to antivenom administration, a preclinical model that possesses fibrinogen that closely mimics the human molecule in response to iron and carbon monoxide needed to be identified. The goal of this investigation was to determine if a swine model could serve in this capacity by assessing the thrombelastographic response of porcine plasma to iron and carbon monoxide exposure, without or with further exposure to the fibrinogenolytic venom of the viper Crotalus atrox. Using plasma obtained from eight swine, it was determined that their plasma responded to iron and carbon monoxide in a manner similar to that of human plasma by displaying enhanced coagulation kinetics. However, in sharp contrast to the response seen with human plasma, only iron significantly protected porcine plasma coagulation kinetics from C. atrox venom degradation. Therefore the pig is an animal beyond humans that could derive benefit from the biometal-focused therapy of iron infusion to protect against venom mediated compromise of coagulation. Thus, future investigation to assess the effects of iron administration to attenuate the effects of fibrinogenolytic envenomation with a pig model is justified.
Keywords: Porcine; Thrombelastography; Fibrinogen; Metalloproteinase; Carbon monoxide; Iron

In plant cells, either excess or insufficient iron (Fe) concentration triggers stress responses, therefore it is strictly controlled. Proteasome-mediated degradation through ubiquitination of Fe homeostasis proteins has just become the focus of research in recent years. Deactivating ubiquitin ligases, COP9 signalosome has a central importance in the translational control of various stress responses. The aim of the study was to investigate COP9 signalosome in Fe deficiency response of Strategy I plants. In silico analysis of a set of Fe-deficiency-responsive genes was conducted against the transcriptome of Arabidopsis csn mutant lines using Genevestigator software. Induced and suppressed genes were clustered in a hierarchical way and gene ontology enrichment categories were identified. In wild-type Arabidopsis, CSN genes did not respond to iron deficiency. In csn mutant lines, under Fe-sufficient conditions, hundreds of Fe-deficiency-responsive genes were misregulated. Among the ones previously characterized for their physiological roles under Fe deficiency IRT1, NAS4, BTS, NRAMP1 were down-regulated while AHA2, MTP8, FRD3 were up-regulated. Unexpectedly, from those which were regulated in opposite ways, some had been repeatedly shown to be tightly co-regulated by the same transcription factor, FIT. Two proteins from DELLA family, which were reported to interact with FIT to repress its downstream, were found to be strikingly repressed in csn mutants. Overall, the study underlined that the absence of a functional CSN greatly impacted the regulation of Fe homeostasis-related genes, in a manner which cannot be explained simply by the induction of the master transcription factor, FIT. Correct expression of Fe deficiency-responsive genes requires an intact COP9 signalosome in Arabidopsis.
Keywords: FIT; Iron deficiency; Microarray; DELLA; COP9

Isolation and characterization of iron chelators from turmeric (Curcuma longa): selective metal binding by curcuminoids by Donald J. Messner; Christine Surrago; Celia Fiordalisi; Wing Yin Chung; Kris V. Kowdley (699-708).
Iron overload disorders may be treated by chelation therapy. This study describes a novel method for isolating iron chelators from complex mixtures including plant extracts. We demonstrate the one-step isolation of curcuminoids from turmeric, the medicinal food spice derived from Curcuma longa. The method uses iron-nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA)-agarose, to which curcumin binds rapidly, specifically, and reversibly. Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin each bound iron-NTA-agarose with comparable affinities and a stoichiometry near 1. Analyses of binding efficiencies and purity demonstrated that curcuminoids comprise the primary iron binding compounds recovered from a crude turmeric extract. Competition of curcuminoid binding to the iron resin was used to characterize the metal binding site on curcumin and to detect iron binding by added chelators. Curcumin-Iron-NTA-agarose binding was inhibited by other metals with relative potency: (>90% inhibition) Cu2+ ~ Al3+ > Zn2+ ≥ Ca2+ ~ Mg2+ ~ Mn2+ (<20% inhibition). Binding was also inhibited by pharmaceutical iron chelators (desferoxamine or EDTA) or by higher concentrations of weak iron chelators (citrate or silibinin). Investigation of the physiological effects of iron binding by curcumin revealed that curcumin uptake by cultured cells was reduced >80% by addition of iron to the media; uptake was completely restored by desferoxamine. Ranking of metals by relative potencies for blocking curcumin uptake agreed with their relative potencies in blocking curcumin binding to iron-NTA-agarose. We conclude that curcumin can selectively bind toxic metals including iron in a physiological setting, and propose inhibition of curcumin binding to iron-NTA-agarose for iron chelator screening.
Keywords: Iron; Metal chelation; Curcumin; Turmeric; Curcuma longa

Triphenylphosphonium-desferrioxamine as a candidate mitochondrial iron chelator by Roxana Y. P. Alta; Hector A. Vitorino; Dibakar Goswami; M. Terêsa Machini; Breno P. Espósito (709-718).
Cell-impermeant iron chelator desferrioxamine (DFO) can have access to organelles if appended to suitable vectors. Mitochondria are important targets for the treatment of iron overload-related neurodegenerative diseases. Triphenylphosphonium (TPP) is a delocalized lipophilic cation used to ferry molecules to mitochondria. Here we report the synthesis and characterization of the conjugate TPP–DFO as a mitochondrial iron chelator. TPP–DFO maintained both a high affinity for iron and the antioxidant activity when compared to parent DFO. TPP–DFO was less toxic than TPP alone to A2780 cells (IC50 = 135.60 ± 1.08 and 4.34 ± 1.06 μmol L−1, respectively) and its native fluorescence was used to assess its mitochondrial localization (Rr = +0.56). These results suggest that TPP–DFO could be an interesting alternative for the treatment of mitochondrial iron overload e.g. in Friedreich’s ataxia.
Keywords: Iron overload; Antioxidant; Mitochondria; Triphenylphosphonium

Methane enhances aluminum resistance in alfalfa seedlings by reducing aluminum accumulation and reestablishing redox homeostasis by Weiti Cui; Hong Cao; Ping Yao; Jincheng Pan; Quan Gu; Sheng Xu; Ren Wang; Zhaozeng Ouyang; Qingya Wang; Wenbiao Shen (719-732).
Methane (CH4) is emerging as a candidate of signal molecule recently. However, whether or how CH4 enhances plant adaptation to aluminum (Al)-contaminated environment is still unknown. In this report, the physiological roles and possible molecular mechanisms of CH4 in the modulation of Al toxicity in alfalfa seedlings were characterized. Our results showed that, CH4 pretreatment could alleviate Al-induced seedling growth inhibition and redox imbalance. The defensive effects of CH4 against Al toxicity including the remission of Al-induced root elongation inhibition, nutrient disorder, and relative electrolyte leakage. Moreover, contents of organic acids, including citrate, malate, and oxalate, were increased by CH4. These results were paralleled by the findings of CH4 regulated organic acids metabolism and transport genes, citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase, aluminum-activated malate transporter, and aluminum activated citrate transporter. Consistently, Al accumulation in seedling roots was decreased after CH4 treatment. In addition, Al-induced oxidative stress was also alleviated by CH4, through the regulation of the activities of anti-oxidative enzymes, such as ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidase, as well as their corresponding transcripts. Our data clearly suggested that CH4 alleviates Al toxicity by reducing Al accumulation in organic acid-dependent fashion, and reestablishing redox homeostasis.
Keywords: Aluminum (Al) toxicity; Methane; Medicago sativa ; Organic acids; Oxidative stress

Interactions of cisplatin analogues with lysozyme: a comparative analysis by Giarita Ferraro; Ilaria De Benedictis; Annamaria Malfitano; Giancarlo Morelli; Ettore Novellino; Daniela Marasco (733-746).
The biophysical characterization of drug binding to proteins plays a key role in structural biology and in the discovery and optimization of drug discovery processes. The search for optimal combinations of biophysical techniques that can correctly and efficiently identify and quantify binding of metal-based drugs to their final target is challenging, due to the physicochemical properties of these agents. Different cisplatin derivatives have shown different citotoxicities in most common cancer lines, suggesting that they exert their biological activity via different mechanisms of action. Here we carried out a comparative analysis, by studying the behaviours of three Pt-compounds under the same experimental conditions and binding assays to properly deepen the determinants of the different MAOs. Indeed we compared the results obtained using surface plasmon resonance, isothermal titration calorimetry, fluorescence spectroscopy and thermal shift assays based on circular dichroism experiments in the characterization of the formation of adducts obtained upon reaction of cisplatin, carboplatin and iodinated analogue of cisplatin, cis-Pt (NH3)2I2, with the model protein hen egg white lysozyme, both at neutral and acid pHs. Further we reasoned on the applicability of employed techniques for the study the thermodynamics and kinetics of the reaction of a metallodrug with a protein and to reveal which information can be obtained using a combination of these analyses. Data were discussed on the light of the existing structural data collected on the platinated protein.
Keywords: Cisplatin analogues; Binding assay; SPR; CD spectroscopy

Role of AQP9 in transport of monomethyselenic acid and selenite by Xiangrong Geng; Joseph McDermott; Joseph Lundgren; Liu Liu; Kan-Jen Tsai; Jian Shen; Zijuan Liu (747-755).
AQP9 is an aquaglyceroporin with a very broad substrate spectrum. In addition to its orthodox nutrient substrates, AQP9 also transports multiple neutral and ionic arsenic species including arsenic trioxide, monomethylarsenous acid (MAsIII) and dimethylarsenic acid (DMAV). Here we discovered a new group of AQP9 substrates which includes two clinical relevant selenium species. We showed that AQP9 efficiently transports monomethylselenic acid (MSeA) with a preference for acidic pH, which has been demonstrated in Xenopus laevis oocyte following the overexpression of human AQP9. Specific inhibitors that dissipate transmembrane proton potential or change the transmembrane pH gradient, such as FCCP, valinomycin and nigericin did not significantly inhibit MSeA uptake, suggesting MSeA transport is not proton coupled. AQP9 was also found to transport ionic selenite and lactate, with much less efficiency compared with MSeA uptake. Selenite and lactate uptake via AQP9 is pH dependent and inhibited by FCCP and nigericin, but not valinomycin. The selenite and lactate uptake via AQP9 can be inhibited by different lactate analogs, indicating that their translocation share similar mechanisms. AQP9 transport of MSeA, selenite and lactate is all inhibited by a previously identified AQP9 inhibitor, phloretin, and the AQP9 substrate arsenite (AsIII). These newly identified AQP9 selenium substrates imply that AQP9 play a significant role in MSeA uptake and possibly selenite uptake involved in cancer therapy under specific microenvironments.
Keywords: AQP9; Liver; Water; Glycerol; Arsenic trioxide (AsIII); Lactate; Selenite; Monomethyselenic acid (MSeA)

Studies on reaction of glutathionylcobalamin with hypochlorite. Evidence of protective action of glutathionyl-ligand against corrin modification by hypochlorite by Ilia A. Dereven’kov; Sergei V. Makarov; Nikita I. Shpagilev; Denis S. Salnikov; Oskar I. Koifman (757-764).
Glutathionylcobalamin (GSCbl), a tight complex of glutathione (GSH) with cobalamin(III), is readily oxidized to aquacobalamin by hypochlorite. Corrin macrocycle remains unmodified in the presence of threefold excess of hypochlorite, whereas aqua- and cyanocobalamins are partially transformed to chlorinated species under the same conditions. The suggested mechanism of reaction between GSCbl and hypochlorite involves subsequent oxidation of thiol and amino groups and dissociation of oxidized glutathione from Co(III)-ion.
Keywords: Vitamin B12; Glutathione; Hypochlorite; Redox reactions; Kinetics

Proteome characterization of copper stress responses in the roots of sorghum by Swapan Kumar Roy; Seong-Woo Cho; Soo Jeong Kwon; Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal; Dong-Gi Lee; Kabita Sarker; Moon-Soon Lee; Zhanguo Xin; Sun-Hee Woo (765-785).
Copper (Cu) is a important micronutrient for plants, but it is extremely toxic to plants at high concentration and can inactivate and disturb protein structures. To explore the Cu stress-induced tolerance mechanism, the present study was conducted on the roots of sorghum seedlings exposed to 50 and 100 µM CuSO4 for 5 days. Accumulation of Cu increased in roots when the seedlings were treated with the highest concentration of Cu2+ ions (100 μM). Elevated Cu concentration provoked notable reduction of Fe, Zn, Ca, and Mn uptake in the roots of sorghum seedlings. In the proteome analysis, high-throughput two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF-TOF MS was performed to explore the molecular responses of Cu-induced sorghum seedling roots. In two-dimensional silver-stained gels, 422 protein spots were identified in the 2-D gel whereas twenty-one protein spots (≥1.5-fold) were used to analyze mass spectrometry from Cu-induced sorghum roots. Among the 21 differentially expressed proteins, 10 proteins were increased, while 11 proteins were decreased due to the intake of Cu ions by roots of sorghum. Abundance of most of the identified proteins from the roots that function in stress response and metabolism was remarkably enhanced, while proteins involved in transcription and regulation were severely reduced. Taken together, these results imply insights into a potential molecular mechanism towards Cu stress in C4 plant, sorghum.
Keywords: Cu stress; Ionic alteration; Root; Proteome; Sorghum

Synthesis, spectroscopic characterization and in vitro anticancer activity of new platinum(II) complexes with some thione ligands in the presence of triethylphosphine by Mohammed Yagoub Jomaa; Muhammed Altaf; Saeed Ahmad; Gaurav Bhatia; Jatinder Singh; Saleh Altuwaijri; Anvarhusein A. Isab (787-795).
Seven new platinum(II) complexes (1–7) of triethylphosphine (Et3P) and thiones (L) with general formula, cis-[Pt(Et3P)2(L)2]Cl2 were prepared and characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR and NMR (1H, 13C & 31P) measurements. The analytical and spectroscopic data suggested the formation of the desired complexes. The complexes were tested for in vitro cytotoxicity against four cell lines: Hela (human cervical adenocarcinoma), MCF-7 (human breast carcinoma), A549 (human lung carcinoma), and HTC15 (human colon carcinoma). The anticancer activity values of compounds 1–6 are much better than cisplatin and carboplatin as indicated by their IC50 values.
Keywords: Anti-cancer activity; Pt(II) complexes; Thione ligands; Cancer cell lines

MMP-7 cleaves amyloid β fragment peptides and copper ion inhibits the degradation by Masanari Taniguchi; Kazuki Matsuura; Rina Nakamura; Aya Kojima; Motomi Konishi; Toshifumi Akizawa (797-807).
The extracellular deposition of amyloid β (Aβ) is known to be the fundamental cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aβ1-42, generated by β-secretases from the amyloid precursor protein (APP), is the main component of neuritic plaque, and the aggregation of this protein is shown to be dependent to an extent on metal ions such as copper and zinc. However, the mechanism by which Cu2+ affects the physicochemical properties of Aβ1-42 or the central nervous system is still under debate. A recent series of studies have demonstrated that both the soluble-type matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) are capable of degrading Aβ peptides. MMP-7, one of the soluble-type matrix metalloproteinases, is expressed in hippocampal tissue; however, less information is available concerning the pathophysiological roles of this enzyme in the process and/or progress of Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we examined the degradation activity of MMP-7 against various Aβ1-42’s fragment peptides and the effect of Cu2+. Although Aβ22-40 was degraded by MMP-7 regardless of Cu2+, Cu2+ inhibited the degradation of Aβ1-19, Aβ11-20, and Aβ11-29 by MMP-7. These results indicate that MMP-7 is capable of degrading Aβ1-42, and that Aβ1-42 acquired resistance against MMP-7 cleavage through Cu2+-binding and structure changes. Our results demonstrate that MMP-7 may play an important role in the defensive mechanism against the aggregation of Aβ1-42, which gives rise to the pathology of AD.
Keywords: Amyloid β; Matrix metalloproteinase; Copper ion; Circular dichroism spectrum

In response to the widespread presence of inorganic Hg in the environment, bacteria have evolved resistance systems with mercuric reductase (MerA) as the key enzyme. MerA enzymes have still not been well characterized from gram positive bacteria. Current study reports physico-chemical, kinetic and structural characterization of MerA from a multiple heavy metal resistant strain of Lysinibacillus sphaericus, and discusses its implications in bioremediation application. The enzyme was homodimeric with subunit molecular weight of about 60 kDa. The Km and Vmax were found to be 32 µM of HgCl2 and 18 units/mg respectively. The enzyme activity was enhanced by β-mercaptoethanol and NaCl up to concentrations of 500 µM and 100 mM respectively, followed by inhibition at higher concentrations. The enzyme showed maximum activity in the pH range of 7–7.5 and temperature range of 25–50 °C, with melting temperature of 67 °C. Cu2+ exhibited pronounced inhibition of the enzyme with mixed inhibition pattern. The enzyme contained FAD as the prosthetic group and used NADPH as the preferred electron donor, but it showed slight activity with NADH as well. Structural characterization was carried out by circular dichroism spectrophotometry and X-ray crystallography. X-ray confirmed the homodimeric structure of enzyme and gave an insight on the residues involved in catalytic binding. In conclusion, the investigated enzyme showed higher catalytic efficiency, temperature stability and salt tolerance as compared to MerA enzymes from other mesophiles. Therefore, it is proposed to be a promising candidate for Hg2+ bioremediation.
Keywords: Mercuric reductase; Bioremediation; Recombinant production; Enzyme kinetics; X-ray crystallography

Erratum to: Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate reverts iron-induced phenotype of hepatic stellate cells by chelating ferrous ions by Henrique Bregolin Dias; Gabriele Catyana Krause; Eamin Daidrê Squizani; Kelly Goulart Lima; Aline Daniele Schuster; Leonardo Pedrazza; Bruno de Souza Basso; Bianca Andrade Martha; Fernanda Cristina de Mesquita; Fernanda Bordignon Nunes; Márcio Vinícius Donadio; Jarbas Rodrigues de Oliveira (821-821).