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Interaction of trivalent axsenicals with metallothionein

TitleInteraction of trivalent axsenicals with metallothionein
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsJiang, GF, Gong, ZL, Li, XF, Cullen, WR, Le, XC
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Volume16
Pagination873-880
Date PublishedJul
Type of ArticleProceedings Paper
ISBN Number0893-228X
KeywordsARSENIC METABOLITES, ENZYMATIC METHYLATION, GLUTATHIONE-REDUCTASE, HUMAN URINE, INORGANIC ARSENICALS, MONOMETHYLARSONOUS ACID MMA(III), PYRUVATE-DEHYDROGENASE, RABBIT LIVER, THIOREDOXIN REDUCTASE, TOXICITY
Abstract

Arsenic is a human carcinogen, causing skin, bladder, and lung cancers. Although arsenic in drinking water affects millions of people worldwide, the mechanism(s) of action by which arsenic causes cancers is not known. Arsenic probably exerts some toxic effects by binding with proteins. However, few experimental data are available on arsenic-containing proteins in biological systems. This study reports on arsenic interaction with metallothionein and established binding stoichiometries between metallothionein and the recently discovered trivalent metabolites of arsenic metabolism. Size exclusion chromatography with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis of reaction mixtures between trivalent arsenicals and metallothionein clearly demonstrated the formation of complexes of arsenic with metallothionein. Analysis of the complexes using electrospray quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry revealed the detailed binding stoichiometry between arsenic and the 20 Cys residues in the metallothionein molecule. Inorganic arsenite (As-III) and its two trivalent methylation metabolites, monomethylarsonous acid (MMA(III)) and dimethylarsinous acid (DMA(III)), readily bind with metallothionein. Each metallothionein molecule could bind with up to six As-III, 10 MMA(III), and 20 DMA(III) molecules, consistent with the coordination chemistry of these arsenicals. The findings on arsenic interaction with proteins are useful for a better understanding of arsenic health effects.

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