BioMetals (v.31, #1)

Metal ions are known selective agents for antibiotic resistance and frequently accumulate in natural environments due to the anthropogenic activities. However, the action of metals that cause the antibiotic resistance is not known for all bacteria. The present work is aimed to investigate the co-selection of metals and antibiotic resistance in Comamonas acidovorans. Tolerance profile of 16 metals revealed that the strain could tolerate high concentrations of toxic metals i.e., Cr (710 ppm), As (380 ppm), Cd (320 ppm), Pb (305 ppm) and Hg (205 ppm). Additionally, metal tolerant phenotypes were subjected to antibiotic resistance profiling; wherein several metal tolerant phenotypes (Cr 1.35-fold; Co-1.33 fold; Mn-1.29 fold) were resistant, while other metal tolerant phenotypes (Mg 1.32-fold; Hg 1.29-fold; Cu 1.28-fold) were susceptible than control phenotype. Metal accumulation may alter the metabolism of C. acidovorans that activates or inactivates the genes responsible for antibiotic resistance, resulting in the resistance and/or susceptibility pattern observed in metal resistant phenotypes.
Keywords: Antibiotic; Comamonas acidovorans ; Co-resistance; Co-selection; Metal

Deciphering the molecular events during arsenic induced transcription signal cascade activation in cellular milieu by Harishkumar Madhyastha; Radha Madhyastha; Yuichi Nakajima; Masugi Maruyama (7-15).
Anthropogenic sources of arsenic poses and creates unintentional toxico-pathological concerns to humans in many parts of the world. The understanding of toxicity of this metalloid, which shares properties of both metal and non-metal is principally structured on speciation types and holy grail of toxicity prevention. Visible symptoms of arsenic toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In this review, we focused on the dermal cell stress caused by trivalent arsenic trioxide and pentavalent arsanilic acid. Deciphering the molecular events involved during arsenic toxicity and signaling cascade interaction is key in arsenicosis prevention. FoxO1 and FoxO2 transcription factors, members of the Forkhead/Fox family, play important roles in this aspect. Like Foxo family proteins, ATM/CHK signaling junction also plays important role in DNA nuclear factor guided cellular development. This review will summarize and discuss current knowledge about the interplay of these pathways in arsenic induced dermal pathogenesis.
Keywords: Arsenic; Toxicity; FoxO pathway; CHK pathway; Skin pathology

Responses of two kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) cultivars to the combined stress of sulfur deficiency and cadmium toxicity by Dongqin Li; Guikui Chen; Qin Lu; Yongtao Li; Jinjin Wang; Huashou Li (17-28).
Plants suffer from combined stress of sulfur deficiency and cadmium toxicity in some agricultural lands. However, little is known about the reaction in plants, such as responses in antioxidant enzymes and non-protein thiol compounds, to such combined stress. Therefore, in this study, four treatments, S-sufficiency (TS−Cd), S-deficiency (T−S−Cd), Cd stress (TS+Cd) and combined stress of S-deficiency and Cd stress (T−S+Cd), were set up to investigate (1) the effects of sulfur deficiency or sulfur sufficiency on Cd toxicity to kidney bean cultivar seedlings and the related mechanisms, and (2) the responses of two kidney bean cultivars to combined stress of S-deficiency and Cd-tolerance. The results showed significant increases in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde contents and significant increases in antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase) activities and non-protein thiol compounds (non-protein thiols, reduced glutathione, phytochelatins) synthesis in the plants in TS+Cd and T−S+Cd. On the tissue level, higher proportion of Cd was found to be immobilized/deposited in roots, while on the sub-cell level, higher proportion of Cd was located in cell walls and vacuole fractions with lower in cell organelles. Taken together, the results indicated that Cd detoxification was achieved by the two kidney bean cultivars through antioxidant enzyme activation, non-protein thiol compound synthesis and sub-cellular compartmentalization. In addition, the results indicated that sufficient S supply helped to relieve Cd toxicity, which is of special significance for remediation or utilization of Cd-contaminated soils as S is a plant essential nutrient.
Keywords: Antioxidant enzyme; Cadmium; Non-protein thiol compound; Oxidative damage; Sub-cellular distribution

Cadmium pyrithione suppresses tumor growth in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of proteasomal deubiquitinase by Xin Chen; Jinjie Wu; Qianqian Yang; Xiaolan Zhang; Peiquan Zhang; Siyan Liao; Zhimin He; Xuejun Wang; Chong Zhao; Jinbao Liu (29-43).
The ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) is indispensable to the protein quality control in eukaryotic cells. Due to the remarkable clinical success of using proteasome inhibitors for clinical treatment of multiple myeloma, it is anticipated that targeting the UPS upstream of the proteasome step be an effective strategy for cancer therapy. Deubiquitinases (DUB) are proteases that remove ubiquitin from target proteins and therefore regulate multiple cellular processes including some signaling pathways altered in cancer cells. Thus, targeting DUB is a promising strategy for cancer drug discovery. Previously, we have reported that metal complexes, such as copper and gold complexes, can disrupt the UPS via suppressing the activity of 19S proteasome-associated DUBs and/or of the 20S proteasomes, thereby inducing cancer cell death. In this study, we found that cadmium pyrithione (CdPT) treatment led to remarkable accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins in cultured cancer cells and primary leukemia cells. CdPT potently inhibited the activity of proteasomal DUBs (USP14 and UCHL5), but slightly inhibited 20S proteasome activity. The anti-cancer activity of CdPT was associated with triggering apoptosis via caspase activation. Moreover, treatment with CdPT inhibited proteasome function and repressed tumor growth in animal xenograft models. Our results show that cadmium-containing complex CdPT may function as a novel proteasomal DUB inhibitor and suggest appealing prospects for cancer treatment.
Keywords: Cadmium; Pyrithione; Proteasome; Deubiquitinase; Tumor

Selenite removal and reduction by growing Aspergillus sp. J2 by Zhijian Li; Haifeng Li; Huiying Hu (45-50).
In this study, the removal and reduction of selenite [Se(IV)] by growing Aspergillus sp. J2 were investigated. The lag phase, growth rate and biomass of J2 was not significantly influenced by the presence of 100 mg/L Se(IV). A rapid Se(IV) removal process took place from the 3rd to the 4th day during the growth of J2. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses showed that the Se(IV) did not cause any visible effects on cell morphology and the reduced amorphous elemental selenium [Se(0)] nanoparticles were mainly on the surface of the mycelial cell walls. The macromolecules containing amine groups also interact with Se(IV) and could play an important role in Se(IV) removal by J2.
Keywords: Aspergillus sp.; Selenite; Reduction; Selenium nanoparticles

Carbon monoxide inhibits hemotoxic activity of Elapidae venoms: potential role of heme by Vance G. Nielsen; Nathaniel Frank; Ryan W. Matika (51-59).
Envenomation by hemotoxic enzymes continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. With regard to treatment, the gold standard to abrogate coagulopathy caused by these venoms is still the administration of antivenom; however, despite antivenom therapy, coagulopathy still occurs and recurs. Of interest, this laboratory has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo that coagulopathy inducing venom derived from snakes of the family Viperidae exposed to carbon monoxide (CO) is inhibited, potentially by an attached heme. The present investigation sought to determine if venoms derived from snakes of the Elapidae family (taipans and cobras) could also be inhibited with CO or with the metheme inducing agent, O-phenylhydroxylamine (PHA). Assessing changes in coagulation kinetics of human plasma with thrombelastography, venoms from Elapidae snakes were exposed in isolation to CO (five species) or PHA (one specie) and placed in human plasma to assess changes in procoagulant or anticoagulant activity. The procoagulant activity of two taipan venoms and anticoagulant activity of three cobra venoms were significantly inhibited by CO. The venom of the inland taipan was also inhibited by PHA. In sum, these data demonstrate indirectly that the biometal heme is likely bound to these disparate venoms as an intermediary modulatory molecule. In conclusion, CO may not just be a potential therapeutic agent to treat envenomation but also may be a potential modulator of heme as a protective mechanism for venomous snakes against injury from their own proteolytic venoms.
Keywords: Taipan; Cobra; Prothrombin activator; Fibrinogenolysis; Carbon monoxide

Copper chaperone antioxidant-1, Atox-1, is involved in the induction of SOD3 in THP-1 cells by Tetsuro Kamiya; Kosuke Takeuchi; Saki Fukudome; Hirokazu Hara; Tetsuo Adachi (61-68).
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) 3, a copper (Cu)-containing anti-oxidative enzyme, plays a key role in extracellular redox homeostasis. Cu chaperone antioxidant-1 (Atox-1) not only delivers Cu ions to SOD3 at the trans-Golgi network, it also functions as a transcription factor of SOD3; however, the role of Atox-1 in the regulation of SOD3 during the monocytic differentiation of THP-1 cells has not yet been elucidated. A treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced the expression of the Cu transport protein ATP7A in THP-1 cells. On the other hand, the nuclear translocation of Atox-1 was detected in TPA-treated THP-1 cells, and was suppressed in the presence of the Cu chelator, bathocuproinedisulfonic acid. Furthermore, Atox-1 bound to the SOD3 promoter region in TPA-treated THP-1 cells. The overexpression of Atox-1 in THP-1 cells significantly enhanced TPA-elicited SOD3 expression, whereas its knockdown suppressed this induction. The present results demonstrate that Atox-1 functions as a key molecule in TPA-elicited SOD3 expression.
Keywords: Superoxide dismutase 3; Antioxidant-1; Copper; THP-1 cells

Inorganic mercury in mammary cells: viability, metal uptake but efflux? by Mariángeles Ávila Maniero; Martin E. Guerrero-Gimenez; Mariel A. Fanelli; Rodolfo G. Wuilloud (69-80).
The viability, cellular uptake and subcellular distribution of heavy metal Hg, were determined in human mammary cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-10A). It was observed that Hg had the capacity of being excluded from the cells with a different type of possible transporters. MCF-7 cells showed the lowest viability, while the other two cell lines were much more resistant to Hg treatments. The intracellular concentration of Hg was higher at lower exposure times in MCF-10A cells and MCF-7 cells; but as the time was increased only MDA-MB-231 showed the capacity to continue introducing the metal. In MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells the subcellular distribution of Hg was higher in cytosolic fraction than nucleus and membrane, but MDA-MB-231 showed membrane and nucleus fraction as the enriched one. The analysis of RNA-seq about the genes or family of genes that encode proteins which are related to cytotoxicity of Hg evidenced that MCF-10A cells and MCF-7 cells could have an active transport to efflux the metal. On the contrary, in MDA-MB-231 no genes that could encode active transporters have been found.
Keywords: Human mammary cell lines; Mercury; Transporters

Antiviral activity and metal ion-binding properties of some 2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl acylhydrazones by M. Carcelli; E. Fisicaro; C. Compari; L. Contardi; D. Rogolino; C. Solinas; A. Stevaert; L. Naesens (81-89).
Here we report on the results obtained from an antiviral screening, including herpes simplex virus, vaccinia virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, Coxsackie B4 virus or respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza-3 virus, reovirus-1 and Punta Toro virus, of three 2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl acylhydrazone compounds in three cell lines (i.e. human embryonic lung fibroblast cells, human cervix carcinoma cells, and African Green monkey kidney cells). Interesting antiviral EC50 values are obtained against herpes simplex virus-1 and vaccinia virus. The biological activity of acylhydrazones is often attributed to their metal coordinating abilities, so potentiometric and microcalorimetric studies are here discussed to unravel the behavior of the three 2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl compounds in solution. It is worth of note that the acylhydrazone with the higher affinity for Cu(II) ions shows the best antiviral activity against herpes simplex and vaccinia virus (EC50 ~ 1.5 µM, minimal cytotoxic concentration = 60 µM, selectivity index = 40).
Keywords: Copper complex; Copper homeostasis; Antiviral; Acylhydrazone; Isothermal titration calorimetry

Sulfur is an essential element for all living organisms. Plants can convert inorganic sulfur into organic sulfur compounds by complex enzymatic steps. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide analysis of sulfate transporter genes (SULTRs) in the sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) genome and examined expression profiles of SbSULTR genes under 200 µM cadmium (Cd) exposure. As a result of sorghum genome analysis, 11 SULTR genes were identified, including SbSULTR1;1, SbSULTR1;2, SbSULTR1;3, SbSULTR2;1, SbSULTR2;2, SbSULTR3;1, SbSULTR3;2, SbSULTR3;3, SbSULTR3;4, SbSULTR3;5, and SbSULTR4. Given names are based on phylogeny and chromosomal locations. Except SbSULTR4, all SbSULTR proteins contained Sulfate_transp (PF00916), STAS (PF01740) domains and 12 trans-membrane domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that four major groups were identified such as SULTR1, 2, 3, and 4 groups and SULTR4 group was separated to other SULTR groups. In promotor sequences of SbSULTR genes, many diverse cis-acting elements were found mainly related with physiological processes such as light, stress and hormone responsiveness. The expression profiles of SbSULTR genes showed that SULTR1;2, 1;3, 3;3, and 3;5 genes up-regulated in root, while expression level of SULTR4 decreased under 200 µM Cd exposure. The predicted 3D structures of SULTR proteins showed some conformational changes, suggesting functional diversities of SbSULTRs. Finally, results of this study may contribute towards understanding SbSULTR genes and their regulations and roles in Cd stress in sorghum.
Keywords: Sulfate transporter genes; Heavy metal stress; Cadmium stress; Sorghum; Bioinformatics

Annotation and characterization of Cd-responsive metal transporter genes in rapeseed (Brassica napus) by Xian Duo Zhang; Jin Guo Meng; Kai Xuan Zhao; Xi Chen; Zhi Min Yang (107-121).
In higher plants, heavy metal transporters are responsible for metal uptake, translocation and homeostasis. These metals include essential metals such as zinc (Zn) or manganese (Mn) and non-essential metals like cadmium (Cd) or lead (Pb). Although a few heavy metal transporters have been well identified in model plants (e.g. Arabidopsis and rice), little is known about their functionality in rapeseed (Brassica napus). B. napus is an important oil crop ranking the third largest sources of vegetable oil over the world. Importantly, B. napus has long been considered as a desirable candidate for phytoremediation owning to its massive dry weight productivity and moderate to high Cd accumulation. In this study, 270 metal transporter genes (MTGs) from B. napus genome were identified and annotated using bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing. Most of the MTGs (74.8%, 202/270) were validated by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) the seedling libraries. Based on the sequence identity, nine superfamilies including YSL, OPT, NRAMP, COPT, ZIP, CDF/MTP, HMA, MRP and PDR have been classified. RNA-sequencing profiled 202 non-redundant MTGs from B. napus seedlings, of which, 108 MTGs were differentially expressed and 62 genes were significantly induced under Cd stress. These differentially expressed genes (DEGs) are dispersed in the rapeseed genome. Some of the genes were well confirmed by qRT-PCR. Analysis of the genomic distribution of MTGs on B. napus chromosomes revealed that their evolutional expansion was probably through localized allele duplications.
Keywords: Brassica napus ; Cadmium; Heavy metal transporters; Transcriptome

Correlation between the concentrations of lactoferrin and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in meconium by Barbara Lisowska-Myjak; Ewa Skarżyńska; Paulina Wilczyńska; Artur Jakimiuk (123-129).
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and lactoferrin (Lf) are among the key components of the innate immune system due to their ability to bind iron with high affinity and thus control inflammation. The aim of this study was to test the use of NGAL and LF measurements in meconium for the assessment of the intrauterine homeostasis. NGAL and Lf concentrations were measured using ELISA kits in all serial meconium portions (n = 81) collected from 20 healthy neonates. Mean ± SD meconium concentration of Lf was 45.07 ± 78.53 µg/g and more than 1000-fold higher compared with that of NGAL at 1.93 ± 2.46 ng/g. The correlation between the two proteins (r = 0.83, p < 0.0001) was found only for portions with Lf concentrations > 25 μg/g. High variability of NGAL and Lf concentrations in meconium and their correlations prove their key role as biomarkers of the fetal condition in utero. NGAL and Lf measured in meconium are candidate biomarkers for fetal iron status.
Keywords: Lactoferrin; Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; Meconium; Fetus

Heme-binding of bovine lactoferrin: the potential presence of a heme-binding capacity in an ancestral transferrin gene by Nariaki Saito; Takefumi Iio; Yasunaga Yoshikawa; Hiromichi Ohtsuka; Koichi Orino (131-138).
Lactoferrin (Lf) and transferrin (Tf) are iron-binding proteins that can bind various metal ions. This study demonstrates the heme-binding activity of bovine Lf and Tf using biotinylated hemin. When both proteins were coated on separate plate wells, each directly bound biotinylated hemin. On the other hand, when biotinylated hemin was immobilized on an avidin-coated plate, soluble native Lf bound to the immobilized biotinylated hemin whereas native Tf did not, suggesting that a conformational change triggered by coating on the plate allows the binding of denatured Tf with hemin. Incubation of Lf with hemin-agarose resulted in negligible binding of Lf with biotinylated hemin. Lf in bovine milk also bound to immobilized biotinylated hemin. These results demonstrate that bovine Lf has specific heme-binding activity, which is different from Tf, suggesting that either Tf lost heme-binding activity during its evolution or that Lf evolved heme-binding activity from its Tf ancestral gene. Additionally, Lf in bovine milk may bind heme directly, but may also bind heme indirectly by interaction with other milk iron- and/or heme-binding proteins.
Keywords: Bovine; Iron; Heme; Lactoferrin; Transferrin

Evaluation of the iron regulatory protein-1 interactome by Gregory J. Connell; Jando S. Danial; Christian X. Haastruthers (139-146).
The interactions of iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) with mRNAs containing an iron-responsive element (IRE) is a major means through which intracellular iron homeostasis is maintained and integrated with cellular function. Although IRE–IRP interactions have been proposed to modulate the expression of a diverse number of mRNAs, a transcriptome analysis of the interactions that form within the native mRNA structure and cellular environment has not previously been described. An RNA-CLIP study is described here that identified IRP-1 interactions occurring within a primary cell line expressing physiologically relevant amounts of mRNA and protein. The study suggests that only a small subset of the previously proposed IREs interact with IRP-1 in situ. Identifying authentic IRP interactions is not only important to a greater understanding of iron homeostasis and its integration with cell biology but also to the development of novel therapeutics that can compensate for iron imbalances.
Keywords: Iron homeostasis; Iron-responsive elements; Iron regulatory protein; Interactome; RNA-CLIP