Author(s): Kahlos K, Pitknen S, Hassinen I, Linnainmaa K, Kinnula VL, Kahlos K, Pitknen S, Hassinen I, Linnainmaa K, Kinnula VL
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Abstract Malignant mesothelioma cells contain elevated levels of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and are highly resistant to oxidants compared to non-malignant mesothelial cells. Since the level of cellular free radicals may be important for cell survival, we hypothesized that the increase of MnSOD in the mitochondria of mesothelioma cells may alter the free radical levels of these organelles. First, MnSOD activity was compared to the activities of two constitutive mitochondrial enzymes; MnSOD activity was 20 times higher in the mesothelioma cells than in the mesothelial cells, whereas the activities of citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase did not differ significantly in the two cell lines. This indicates that the activity of MnSOD per mitochondrion was increased in the mesothelioma cells. Superoxide production was assayed in the isolated mitochondria of these cells using lucigenin chemiluminescence. Mitochondrial superoxide levels were significantly lower (72\%) in the mesothelioma cells compared to the mesothelial cells. Oxidant production in intact cells, assayed by fluorimetry using 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein as a fluorescent probe, did not differ significantly between these cells. We conclude that mitochondrial superoxide levels are lower in mesothelioma cells compared to nonmalignant mesothelial cells, and that this difference may be explained by higher MnSOD activity in the mitochondria of these cells. Oxidant production was not different in these cells, which may be due to the previously observed increase in H2O2-scavenging mechanisms of mesothelioma cells.
This article was published in Br J Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Prostate Cancer