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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of select mitochondrial enzymes in PC12 cells exposed to S-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl)-L-cysteine.

Many halogenated foreign compounds are detoxified by conversion to the corresponding cysteine S-conjugate, which is N-acetylated and excreted. However, several halogenated cysteine S-conjugates [e.g. S-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethy)-L-cysteine (TFEC)] are converted to mitochondrial toxicants by cysteine S-conjugate beta-lyases. In the present work, we showed that TFEC appreciably inactivated highly purified alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) in the presence of a cysteine S-conjugate beta-lyase. Incubation of PC12 cells (which contain endogenous cysteine S-conjugate beta-lyase activity) with TFEC led to a concentration- and time-dependent loss of endogenous KGDHC activity. A 24-hr exposure to 1 mM TFEC decreased KGDHC activity in the cells by 90%. Although treatment with TFEC did not inhibit intrinsic pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) activity, it inhibited dichloroacetate/Mg2+-mediated activation/dephosphorylation of PDHC in the PC12 cells by 90%. To determine the selectivity of enzymes targeted by TFEC, several cytosolic and mitochondrial enzymes involved in energy metabolism [malate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, glutamate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, cytosolic and mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferases (AspAT)] were also assayed in the PC12 cells exposed to 1 mM TFEC for 24 hr. Of these enzymes, only mitochondrial AspAT, a key enzyme of the malate-aspartate shuttle, was inhibited. The present results demonstrate a selective vulnerability of mitochondrial enzymes to toxic cysteine S-conjugates. The data indicate that TFEC may be a useful cellular/mitochondrial toxicant for elucidating the consequences of the diminished mitochondrial function that accompanies numerous neurodegenerative diseases.[1]


  1. Inhibition of select mitochondrial enzymes in PC12 cells exposed to S-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl)-L-cysteine. Park, L.C., Gibson, G.E., Bunik, V., Cooper, A.J. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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