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

Peripheral nerve esterases and the promotion of organophosphate-induced neuropathy in hens.

Several esterase inhibitors, not capable of causing peripheral neuropathy by themselves, exacerbate organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP) and other axonopathies. This effect was called promotion of axonopathies and it was found not to be associated with inhibition of neuropathy target esterase ( NTE), the molecular target of OPIDP. The search for an esterase as the target of promotion has started long ago, when an eterogeneous group of esterases-hydrolysing phenyl valerate (PV) was identified in hen's sciatic nerve by means of selective inhibitors. Correlation studies in vivo indicated that the target of promotion may have been among the proteins present in the soluble fraction. When this soluble PV-esterase activity was separated on a Sephacryl-S-300 column, correlation was found between promotion and its inhibition in vivo. The electrophoretic analysis of this fraction indicated the presence of several proteins. Subsequent ion-exchange chromatography identified a protein of about 80 kDa molecular weight that was associated with PV-esterase activity. The inhibition of this activity did also correlate with promotion. The sequence of this protein identified it as ovotransferrin, but commercial preparations of ovotransferrin were found to lack PV-esterase activity. Binding experiments on this purified PV-activity and on commercial ovotransferrin using radiolabelled promoters were inconclusive. Titration of this PV-activity showed that about 20-30% of it is resistant to high concentrations of several inhibitors, suggesting heterogeneity of the fraction. In fact, bi-dimensional electrophoresis indicated the presence of several proteins. Finally, in vivo correlation experiments with p-toluensulfonyl fluoride showed that whereas this chemical does not promote OPIDP induced by dibutyl dichlorovinyl phosphate, it does inhibit about 80% of this PV-activity. In conclusion, available data indicate that the target of promotion is unlikely to be ovotransferrin. However, all promoters identified so far are esterase inhibitors suggesting that the target of promotion might be, indeed, a protein with esteratic activity.[1]


  1. Peripheral nerve esterases and the promotion of organophosphate-induced neuropathy in hens. Moretto, A., Nicolli, A., Lotti, M. Chem. Biol. Interact. (2005) [Pubmed]
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