Author(s): Hansen JM, Zhang H, Jones DP
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Abstract Metal toxicity often includes the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and subsequent oxidative stress, but whether metals have different effects on the major thiol antioxidant systems is unknown. Here, we examine the effects of arsenic, cadmium, cesium, copper, iron, mercury, nickel, and zinc on glutathione (GSH), cytoplasmic thioredoxin-1 (Trx1), and mitochondrial thioredoxin-2 (Trx2) redox states. GSH/GSSG redox states were determined by HPLC, and Trx1 and Trx2 redox states were determined by Redox Western blot methods. Copper, iron, and nickel showed significant oxidation of GSH but relatively little oxidation of either Trx1 or Trx2. Arsenic, cadmium, and mercury showed little oxidation of GSH but significantly oxidized both Trx1 and Trx2. The magnitude of effects of arsenic, cadmium, and mercury was greater for the mitochondrial Trx2 (>60 mV) compared to the cytoplasmic Trx1 (20 to 40 mV). Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) may be activated by two different pathways, one dependent upon GSH and glutaredoxin and the other independent of GSH and dependent upon thioredoxin. ASK1 activation and cell death were observed with metals that oxidized thioredoxins but not with metals that oxidized GSH. These findings show that metals have differential oxidative effects on the major thiol antioxidant systems and that activation of apoptosis may be associated with metal ions that oxidize thioredoxin and activate ASK1. The differential oxidation of the major thiol antioxidant systems by metal ions suggest that the distinct thiol/disulfide redox couples represented by GSH/GSSG and the thioredoxins may convey different levels of control in apoptotic and toxic signaling pathways.
This article was published in Free Radic Biol Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology