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The selenoenzyme thioredoxin reductase (TR) can recycle ascorbic acid, which in turn can recycle alpha-tocopherol. Therefore, we evaluated the role of selenium in ascorbic acid recycling and in protection against oxidant-induced loss of alpha-tocopherol in cultured liver cells. Treatment of HepG2 or H4IIE cultured liver cells for 48 h with sodium selenite (0-116 nmol/l) tripled the activity of the selenoenzyme TR, measured as aurothioglucose-sensitive dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) reduction. However, selenium did not increase the ability of H4IIE cells to take up and reduce 2 mM DHA, despite a 25% increase in ascorbate-dependent ferricyanide reduction (which reflects cellular ascorbate recycling). Nonetheless, selenium supplements both spared ascorbate in overnight cultures of H4IIE cells, and prevented loss of cellular alpha-tocopherol in response to an oxidant stress induced by either ferricyanide or diazobenzene sulfonate. Whereas TR contributes little to ascorbate recycling in H4IIE cells, selenium spares ascorbate in culture and alpha-tocopherol in response to an oxidant stress.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are thought to be involved in intracellular signaling, including activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. We investigated the role of NADPH oxidase in the NF-kappaB activation pathway by utilizing knockout mice (p47phox-/-) lacking the p47phox component of NADPH oxidase. Wild-type (WT) controls and p47phox-/- mice were treated with intraperitoneal (i.p.) Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (5 or 20 microg/g of body weight). LPS-induced NF-kappaB binding activity and accumulation of RelA in nuclear protein extracts of lung tissue were markedly increased in WT compared to p47phox-/- mice 90 min after treatment with 20 but not 5 microg of i.p. LPS per g. In another model of lung inflammation, RelA nuclear translocation was reduced in p47phox-/- mice compared to WT mice following treatment with aerosolized LPS. In contrast to NF-kappaB activation in p47phox-/- mice, LPS-induced production of macrophage inflammatory protein 2 in the lungs and neutrophilic lung inflammation were not diminished in these mice compared to WT mice. We conclude that LPS-induced NF-kappaB activation is deficient in the lungs of p47phox-/- mice compared to WT mice, but this abnormality does not result in overt alteration in the acute inflammatory response.
Guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) is the receptor for the hormones guanylin and uroguanylin. Although primarily expressed in the rat intestine, GC-C is also expressed in the liver during neonatal or regenerative growth or during the acute phase response. Little is known about the hepatic regulation of GC-C expression. The influence of various hepatic growth or acute phase regulators on GC-C expression was evaluated by immunoblot analysis of protein from primary rat hepatocytes grown in a serum-free medium. Insulin and heregulin-beta1 strongly stimulated GC-C expression by 24 h of cell culture. Several different hormones and agents suppressed this action, including transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), as well as inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3-kinase) and phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE-3, an insulin- and PI-3-kinase-dependent enzyme). The compartmental downregulation of cAMP levels by PDE-3 may be a critical step in the hormonal action that culminates in GC-C synthesis.
The metabolism of the mutagen 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) was investigated with human and rat liver microsomes, recombinant human cytochrome P450 1A2 (P450 1A2) expressed in Escherichia coli cells, and rat P450 1A2. Human liver microsomes and human P450 1A2 catalyzed the oxidation of the exocyclic amine group of MeIQx to form the genotoxic product 2-(hydroxyamino)-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (HONH-MeIQx). Human P450 1A2 also catalyzed the oxidation of C(8)-methyl group of MeIQx to form 2-amino-(8-hydroxymethyl)-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (8-CH(2)OH-IQx), 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline-8-carbaldehyde (IQx-8-CHO), and 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline-8-carboxylic acid (IQx-8-COOH). Thus, chemically stable C(8)-oxidation products of MeIQx may be useful biomarkers of P450 1A2 activity in humans. Rat liver microsomes were 10-15-fold less active than the human counterpart at both N-oxidation and C(8)-oxidation of MeIQx when expressed as nanomoles of product formed per minute per nanomoles of P450 1A2. Differences in regioselective oxidation of MeIQx were also observed with human and rat liver microsomes and the respective P450 1A2 orthologs. In contrast to human liver microsomes and P450 1A2, rat liver microsomes and purified rat P4501A2 were unable to catalyze the oxidation of MeIQx to the carboxylic derivative IQx-8-COOH, an important detoxication product formed in humans. However, rat liver microsomes and rat P4501A2, but not human liver microsomes or human P450 1A2, extensively catalyzed ring oxidation at the C-5 position of MeIQx to form the detoxication product 2-amino-3,8-dimethyl-5-hydroxyimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (5-HO-MeIQx). There are important differences between human and rat P450 1A2, both in catalytic activities and oxidation pathways of MeIQx, that may affect the biological activity of this carcinogen and must be considered when assessing human health risk.
We have investigated the recycling of apoE in livers of apoE(-)/- mice transplanted with wild type bone marrow (apoE(+/+) --> apoE(-)/-), a model in which circulating apoE is derived exclusively from macrophages. Nascent Golgi lipoproteins were recovered from livers of apoE(+/+) --> apoE(-)/- mice 8 weeks after transplantation. ApoE was identified with nascent d < 1.006 and with d 1.006-1.210 g/ml lipoproteins at a level approximately 6% that of nascent lipoproteins from C57BL/6 mice. Hepatocytes from apoE(+/+) --> apoE(-)/- mice were isolated and cultured in media free of exogenous apoE. ApoE was found in the media primarily on the d < 1.006 g/ml fraction, indicating a resecretion of internalized apoprotein. Secretion of apoE from C57BL/6 hepatocytes was consistent with constitutive production, whereas the majority of apoE secreted from apoE(+/+) --> apoE(-)/- hepatocytes was recovered in the last 24 h of culture. This suggests that release may be triggered by accumulation of an acceptor, such as very low density lipoproteins, in the media. In agreement with the in vivo data, total recovery of apoE from apoE(+/+) --> apoE(-)/- hepatocytes was approximately 6% that of the apoE recovered from C57BL/6 hepatocytes. Since plasma apoE levels in the transplanted mice are approximately 10% of control levels, the findings indicate that up to 60% of the internalized apoE may be reutilized under physiologic conditions. These studies provide definitive evidence for the sparing of apoE and its routing through the secretory pathway and demonstrate that internalized apoE can be resecreted in a quantitatively significant fashion.
Methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT) is an essential enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet), the most important biological methyl donor. Liver MAT I/III is the product of the MAT1A gene. Hepatic MAT I/III activity and MAT1A expression are compromised under pathological conditions such as alcoholic liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis, and this gene is silenced upon neoplastic transformation of the liver. In the present work, we evaluated whether MAT1A expression could be targeted by the polycyclic arylhydrocarbon (PAH) 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) in rat liver and cultured hepatocytes. MAT1A mRNA levels were reduced by 50% following in vivo administration of 3-MC to adult male rats (100 mg/kg, p.o., 4 days' treatment). This effect was reproduced in a time- and dose-dependent fashion in cultured rat hepatocytes, and was accompanied by the induction of cytochrome P450 1A1 gene expression. This action of 3-MC was mimicked by other PAHs such as benzo[a]pyrene and benzo[e]pyrene, but not by the model arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activator 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. 3-MC inhibited transcription driven by a MAT1A promoter-reporter construct transfected into rat hepatocytes, but MAT1A mRNA stability was not affected. We recently showed that liver MAT1A expression is induced by AdoMet in cultured hepatocytes. Here, we observed that exogenously added AdoMet prevented the negative effects of 3-MC on MAT1A expression. Taken together, our data demonstrate that liver MAT1A gene expression is targeted by PAHs, independently of AhR activation. The effect of AdoMet may be part of the protective action of this molecule in liver damage.
Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) are involved in a number of signaling pathways as heterodimeric partners of numerous nuclear receptors. Hepatocytes express high levels of the RXRalpha isotype, as well as several of its putative heterodimeric partners. Germ-line disruption (knockout) of RXRalpha has been shown to be lethal in utero, thus precluding analysis of its function at later life stages. Hepatocyte-specific disruption of RXRalpha during liver organogenesis has recently revealed that the presence of hepatocytes is not mandatory for the mouse, at least under normal mouse facility conditions, even though a number of metabolic events are impaired [Wan, Y.-J., et al. (2000) Mol. Cell. Biol. 20, 4436-4444]. However, it is unknown whether RXRalpha plays a role in the control of hepatocyte proliferation and lifespan. Here, we report a detailed analysis of the liver of mice in which RXRalpha was selectively ablated in adult hepatocytes by using the tamoxifen-inducible chimeric Cre recombinase system. Our results show that the lifespan of adult hepatocytes lacking RXRalpha is shorter than that of their wild-type counterparts, whereas proliferative hepatocytes of regenerating liver exhibit an even shorter lifespan. These lifespan shortenings are accompanied by increased polyploidy and multinuclearity. We conclude that RXRalpha plays important cell-autonomous function(s) in the mechanism(s) involved in the lifespan of hepatocytes and liver regeneration.
Metabolic pathways of the mutagen 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) remain incompletely characterized in humans. In this study, the metabolism of MeIQx was investigated in primary human hepatocytes. Six metabolites were characterized by UV and mass spectroscopy. Novel metabolites were additionally characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy. The carcinogenic metabolite, 2-(hydroxyamino)-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline, which is formed by cytochrome P450 1A2 (P450 1A2), was found to be transformed into the N(2)-glucuronide conjugate, N(2)-(beta-1-glucosiduronyl)-2-(hydroxyamino)-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline. The phase II conjugates N(2)-(3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxalin-2-yl)sulfamic acid and N(2)-(beta-1-glucosiduronyl)-2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline, as well as the 7-oxo derivatives of MeIQx and N-desmethyl-MeIQx, 2-amino-3,8-dimethyl-6-hydro-7H-imidazo[4,5-f]quinoxalin-7-one (7-oxo-MeIQx), and 2-amino-6-hydro-8-methyl-7H-imidazo[4,5-f]quinoxalin-7-one (N-desmethyl-7-oxo-MeIQx), thought to be formed exclusively by the intestinal flora, were also identified. A novel metabolite was characterized as 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline-8-carboxylic acid (IQx-8-COOH), and it was the predominant metabolite formed in hepatocytes exposed to MeIQx at levels approaching human exposure. IQx-8-COOH formation is catalyzed by P450 1A2. This metabolite is a detoxication product and does not induce umuC gene expression in Salmonella typhimurium strain NM2009. IQx-8-COOH is also the principal oxidation product of MeIQx excreted in human urine [Turesky, R., et al. (1998) Chem. Res. Toxicol. 11, 217-225]. Thus, P450 1A2 is involved in both the metabolic activation and detoxication of this procarcinogen in humans. Analogous metabolism experiments were conducted with hepatocytes of untreated rats and rats pretreated with the P450 inducer 3-methylcholanthrene. Unlike human hepatocytes, the rat cell preparations did not produce IQx-8-COOH but catalyzed the formation of 2-amino-3,8-dimethyl-5-hydroxyimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline as a major P450-mediated detoxication product. In conclusion, our results provide evidence of a novel MeIQx metabolism pathway in humans through P450 1A2-mediated C(8)-oxidation of MeIQx to form IQx-8-COOH. This biotransformation pathway has not been detected in experimental animal species. Considerable interspecies differences exist in the metabolism of MeIQx by P450s, which may affect the biological activity of this mutagen and must be considered when assessing human health risk.
Mutations in the glucokinase (GK) gene cause two different diseases of blood glucose regulation: maturity onset diabetes of the young, type 2 (MODY-2) and persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy (PHHI). To gain further understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders, we have used both transgenic and gene-targeting strategies to explore the relationship between GK gene expression in specific tissues and the blood glucose concentration. These studies, which have included the use of aCre/loxP gene-targeting strategy to perform both pancreatic beta-cell- and hepatocyte-specific knockouts of GK, clearly demonstrate multiple, cell-specific roles for this hexokinase that, together, contribute to the maintainance of euglycemia. In the pancreatic beta cell, GK functions as the glucose sensor, determining the threshold for insulin secretion. Mice lacking GK in the pancreatic beta cell die within 3 days of birth of profound hyperglycemia. In the liver, GK facilitates hepatic glucose uptake during hyperglycemia and is essential for the appropriate regulation of a network of glucose-responsive genes. While mice lacking hepatic GK are viable, and are only mildly hyperglycemic when fasted, they also have impaired insulin secretion in response to hyperglycemia. The mechanisms that enable hepatic GK to affect beta-cell function are not yet understood. Thus, the hyperglycemia that occurs in MODY-2 is due to impaired GK function in both the liver and pancreatic beta cell, although the defect in beta-cell function is clearly more dominant. Whether defects in GK gene expression also impair glucose sensing by neurons in the brain or enteroendocrine cells in gut, two other sites known to express GK, remains to be determined. Moreover, whether the pathophysiology of PHHI also involves multitissue dysfunction remains to be explored.