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Authors Kohler JE, Mathew J, Tai K, Blass AL, Kelly E, Soybel DI
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Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 153 Issue: 1 Pages: 121-7
Publish Date 2009 May 01
PubMed ID 19118843
PMC ID 2699399

Caspase-3, a pro-apoptotic enzyme, represents a class of proteins in which the active site contains reduced thiol (S-H) groups and is modulated by heavy metal cations, such as Zn(2+). We explored the effects of the thiol oxidant monochloramine (NHCl) on caspase-3 activity within cells of isolated rabbit gastric glands. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that NHCl-induced alterations of caspase-3 activity are modulated by oxidant-induced accumulation of Zn(2+) within the cytoplasm.Isolated gastric glands were prepared from rabbit mucosa by collagenase digestion. Caspase-3 activity was measured colorimetrically in suspensions of healthy rabbit gastric glands, following exposure to various concentrations of NHCl with or without the zinc chelator TPEN [tetrakis-(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylene diamine] for 1 h, and re-equilibration in Ringer’s solution for 5 h. Conversion of procaspase-3 to active caspase-3 was monitored by Western blot.Monochloramine inhibited caspase-3 activity in a dose-dependent fashion. At concentrations of NHCl up to 100 microM, these effects were prevented if TPEN was given concurrently and were partly reversed if TPEN was given 1 h later. Caspase-3 activity was preserved by concurrent treatment with a thiol-reducing agent, dithiothreitol.At pathologically relevant concentrations, NHCl impairs caspase-3 activity through oxidation of its thiol groups. Independently from its thiol oxidant effects on the enzyme, NHCl-induced accumulation of Zn(2+) in the cytoplasm is sufficient to restrain endogenous caspase-3 activity. Our studies suggest that some bacterially generated oxidants, such as NHCl, impair host pathways of apoptosis through release of Zn(2+) from endogenous pools.

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