(1/1018) Thiol-dependent degradation of protoporphyrin IX by plant peroxidases.

Protoporphyrin IX (PP) is the last porphyrin intermediate in common between heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis. This pigment normally does not accumulate in plants because its highly photodynamic nature makes it toxic. While the steps leading to heme and chlorophylls are well characterized, relatively little is known of the metabolic fate of excess PP in plants. We have discovered that plant peroxidases can rapidly degrade this pigment in the presence of thiol-containing substrates such as glutathione and cysteine. This thiol-dependent degradation of PP by horseradish peroxidase consumes oxygen and is inhibited by ascorbic acid.  (+info)

(2/1018) Mg-chelatase of tobacco: the role of the subunit CHL D in the chelation step of protoporphyrin IX.

The Mg-chelation is found to be a prerequisite to direct protoporphyrin IX into the chlorophyll (Chl)-synthesizing branch of the tetrapyrrol pathway. The ATP-dependent insertion of magnesium into protoporphyrin IX is catalyzed by the enzyme Mg-chelatase, which consists of three protein subunits (CHL D, CHL I, and CHL H). We have chosen the Mg-chelatase from tobacco to obtain more information about the mode of molecular action of this complex enzyme by elucidating the interactions in vitro and in vivo between the central subunit CHL D and subunits CHL I and CHL H. We dissected CHL D in defined peptide fragments and assayed for the essential part of CHL D for protein-protein interaction and enzyme activity. Surprisingly, only a small part of CHL D, i.e., 110 aa, was required for interaction with the partner subunits and maintenance of the enzyme activity. In addition, it could be demonstrated that CHL D is capable of forming homodimers. Moreover, it interacted with both CHL I and CHL H. Our data led to the outline of a two-step model based on the cooperation of the subunits for the chelation process.  (+info)

(3/1018) Timing of illumination is essential for effective and safe photodynamic therapy: a study in the normal rat oesophagus.

5-Aminolaevulinic acid (ALA)-induced, protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an experimental treatment modality for (pre)malignant oesophageal lesions. This study aimed to optimize the time of illumination after ALA administration. Six groups of eight rats received 200 mg kg(-1) ALA orally, eight rats served as controls. Illumination was performed at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 h after ALA administration with a 1-cm cylindrical diffuser placed in a balloon catheter (laser parameters: 633 nm, 25 J radiant energy, power output 100 mW). During illumination, fluorescence measurements and light dosimetry were performed. Animals were sacrificed at 48 h (n = 4) or 28 days (n = 4) after PDT. At day 28, an oesophagogram was performed. Largest PpIX fluorescence was found at 3 h after ALA administration. In vivo fluence rate was three times higher than the calculated incident fluence rate. At 48 h after PDT, major epithelial damage was found in all animals illuminated at 2 h, whereas less epithelial damage was found at 3-6 h and none at 1 and 12 h. In animals illuminated at 4, 6 and 12 h, but not at 2 h, oesophagograms showed severe dilatations and histology showed loss of Schwann cells. These results demonstrate that the choice of time interval between ALA administration and illumination is critical for achieving epithelial damage without oesophageal functional impairment. A short interval of 2-3 h seems to be most appropriate.  (+info)

(4/1018) Reaction of the microsomal heme oxygenase with cobaltic protoporphyrin IX, and extremely poor substrate.

A reconstituted heme oxygenase system which was composed of a purified heme oxygenase from pig spleen microsomes and a partially purified NADPH-cytochrome c reductase from pig liver microsomes could not catalyze the conversion of cobaltic protoporphyrin IX (Co-heme) to biliverdin, although Co-heme could bind with the heme oxygenase protein to form a complex. The heme oxygenase system in the microsomes from pig spleen, rat spleen, and rat kidney also failed to oxidize Co-heme to biliverdin. Properties of the complex of Co-heme and heme oxygenase closely resembled those of cobalt myoglobin and cobalt hemoglobin; the Co-heme bound to the heme oxygenase protein did not react with cyanide and azide, the Co-heme moiety was reduced but only slowly with sodium dithionite, and the reduced form of the Co-heme did not appear to bind carbon monoxide. The co-heme bound to heme oxygenase was not reduced with the NADPH-cytochrome c reductase system in air. These findings further support the views that heme oxygenase may have a heme-binding crevice similar to those of myoglobin and hemoglobin and that reduction of heme is the prerequisite for the oxidative degradation of heme in the heme oxygenase reaction.  (+info)

(5/1018) Hypoxia significantly reduces aminolaevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX synthesis in EMT6 cells.

We have studied the effects of hypoxia on aminolaevulinic acid (ALA)-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) synthesis in EMT6 monolayer cultures characterized by different cell densities and proliferation rates. Specifically, after ALA incubation under hypoxic or normoxic conditions, we detected spectrofluorometrically the PpIX content of the following populations: (a) low-density exponentially growing cells; (b) high-density fed-plateau cells; and (c) high-density unfed-plateau cells. These populations were selected either for the purpose of comparison with other in vitro studies (low-density exponentially growing cells) or as representatives of tumour regions adjacent to (high-density fed-plateau cells) and further away from (high-density unfed-plateau cells) capillaries. The amount of PpIX per cell produced by each one of these populations was higher after normoxic ALA incubation. The magnitude of the effect of hypoxia on PpIX synthesis was dependent on cell density and proliferation rate. A 42-fold decrease in PpIX fluorescence was observed for the high-density unfed-plateau cells. PpIX production by the low-density exponential cells was affected the least by ALA incubation under hypoxic conditions (1.4-fold decrease), whereas the effect on the high-density fed-plateau population was intermediate (20-fold decrease).  (+info)

(6/1018) The iron regulatory protein can determine the effectiveness of 5-aminolevulinic acid in inducing protoporphyrin IX in human primary skin fibroblasts.

The level of endogenous photosensitiser, protoporphyrin IX (PPIX), can be enhanced in the cells by 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). We investigated the effect of critical parameters such as growth state of the cells and availability of intracellular iron in modulating the level of PPIX, in human primary cultured skin fibroblasts (FEK4) maintained either in exponentially growing or growth-arrested phase, following treatment with ALA. The addition of ALA to exponentially growing cells increased the level of PPIX 6-fold relative to control cells; however, in growth-arrested cells the same treatment increased the level of PPIX up to 34-fold. The simultaneous addition of the hydrophilic iron-chelator Desferal with ALA, boosted the level of PPIX up to 47-fold in growing cells and up to 42-fold in growth-arrested cells, suggesting that iron is limiting under the latter conditions. The strict dependence of PPIX enhancement on free available iron levels was examined by the level of activation of iron regulatory protein in band shift assays. This analysis revealed that the basal level of iron regulatory protein in growth-arrested cells was 6-fold higher than in growing cells, reflecting the influence of the free available iron pool in exponentially growing cells. Interestingly, the same ratio was found between the basal level concentration of PPIX in growing and growth-arrested cells. We propose that iron regulatory protein activation could serve as a marker for developing photodynamic therapy protocols because it identifies cells and tissues with a propensity to accumulate PPIX and it is therefore likely to predict the effectiveness of such therapies.  (+info)

(7/1018) Peroxynitrite induces haem oxygenase-1 in vascular endothelial cells: a link to apoptosis.

Peroxynitrite (ONOO-) is a potent oxidizing agent generated by the interaction of nitric oxide (NO) and the superoxide anion. In physiological solution, ONOO- rapidly decomposes to a hydroxyl radical, one of the most reactive free radicals, and nitrogen dioxide, another species able to cause oxidative damage. In the present study we investigated the effect of ONOO- on the expression of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an inducible protein that is highly up-regulated by oxidative stress. Exposure of bovine aortic endothelial cells to ONOO- (250-1000 microM) produced a concentration-dependent increase in haem oxygenase activity and HO-1 protein expression. This effect was completely abolished by the ONOO- scavengers uric acid and N-acetylcysteine, and partly attenuated by 1,3-dimethyl-2-thiourea, a scavenger of hydroxyl radicals. ONOO- also produced a concentration-dependent increase in apoptosis and cytotoxicity, which were considerably decreased by uric acid and N-acetylcysteine. A 70% decrease in apoptosis was observed when cells were exposed to ONOO- in the presence of 10 microM tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPPIX), an inhibitor of haem oxygenase activity. When SnPPIX was added 5 min after ONOO-, apoptosis decreased by only 40%, which suggests that an interaction between ONOO- and the protoporphyrin occurs in our system. Increased haem oxygenase activity by pretreatment of cells with haemin resulted in elevated bilirubin production and was associated with a substantial decrease (35%) in ONOO--mediated apoptosis. These results indicate the ability of ONOO- to modulate the expression of the stress protein HO-1 and suggest that the haem oxygenase pathway contributes to protection against the cytotoxic action of ONOO-.  (+info)

(8/1018) Active and higher intracellular uptake of 5-aminolevulinic acid in tumors may be inhibited by glycine.

Topical 5-aminolevulinic acid is used for the fluorescence-based diagnosis and photodynamic treatment of superficial precancerous and cancerous lesions of the skin. Thus, we investigated the kinetics of 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced fluorescence and the mechanisms responsible for the selective formation of porphyrins in tumors in vivo. Using amelanotic melanomas (A-Mel-3) grown in dorsal skinfold chambers of Syrian golden hamsters fluorescence kinetics were measured up to 24 h after topical application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (1%, 3%, or 10%) for 1 h, 4 h, or 8 h by intravital microscopy (n = 54). Maximal fluorescence intensity in tumors after 1 h application (3% 5-aminolevulinic acid) occurred 150 min and after 4 h application (3% 5-aminolevulinic acid) directly thereafter. Increasing either concentration of 5-aminolevulinic acid or application time did not yield a higher fluorescence intensity. The selectivity of the fluorescence in tumors decreased with increasing application time. Fluorescence spectra indicated the formation of protoporphyrin IX (3% 5-aminolevulinic acid, 4 h; n = 3). The simultaneous application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (3%, 4 h) and glycine (20 microM or 200 microM; n = 10) reduced fluorescence in tumor and surrounding host tissue significantly. In contrast, neither decreasing iron concentration by desferrioxamine (1% and 3%; n = 10) nor inducing tetrapyrrole accumulation using 1, 10-phenanthroline (7.5 mM; n = 5) increased fluorescence in tumors. The saturation and faster increase of fluorescence in the tumor together with a reduction of fluorescence by the application of glycine suggests an active and higher intracellular uptake of 5-aminolevulinic acid in tumor as compared with the surrounding tissue. Shorter application (1 h) yields a better contrast between tumor and surrounding tissue for fluorescence diagnosis. The additional topical application of modifiers of the heme biosynthesis, desferrioxamine or 1,10-phenanthroline, however, is unlikely to enhance the efficacy of topical 5-aminolevulinic acid-photodynamic therapy at least in our model.  (+info)