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

Mechanism for inhibition of thyroid peroxidase by leucomalachite green.

The triphenylmethane dye, malachite green (MG), is used to treat and prevent fungal and parasitic infections in the aquaculture industry. It has been reported that the reduced metabolite of MG, leucomalachite green (LMG), accumulates in the tissues of fish treated with MG. MG is structurally related to other triphenylmethane dyes (e.g., gentian violet and pararosaniline) that are carcinogenic in the liver, thyroid, and other organs of experimental animals. The ability of LMG to inhibit thyroid peroxidase (TPO), the enzyme that catalyzes the iodination and coupling reactions required for thyroid hormone synthesis, was determined in this study. LMG inhibited TPO-catalyzed tyrosine iodination (half-maximal inhibition at ca. 10 microM). LMG also inhibited the TPO-catalyzed formation of thyroxine in low-iodine human goiter thyroglobulin (half-maximal inhibition at ca. 10 microM) using a model system that measures simultaneous iodination and coupling. Direct inhibition of the coupling reaction by LMG was shown using a coupling-only system containing chemically preiodinated thyroglobulin as the substrate. Incubation of LMG with TPO, iodide, and tyrosine in the presence of a H2O2-generating system yielded oxidation products that were identified by using on-line LC/APCI-MS as desmethyl LMG, 2desmethyl LMG, 3desmethyl LMG, MG, and MG N-oxide. Similar products from LMG were observed in incubations with TPO and H2O2 alone. These findings suggest that the anti-thyroid effects (increased serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and decreased serum thyroxine) observed in rats treated with LMG result from blockade of hormone synthesis through alternate substrate inhibition and that chronic exposure could cause thyroid follicular cell tumors through a hormonal mechanism. The observed TPO-catalyzed oxidative demethylation of LMG to a primary arylamine also suggests a genotoxic mechanism for tumor formation is possible.[1]


  1. Mechanism for inhibition of thyroid peroxidase by leucomalachite green. Doerge, D.R., Chang, H.C., Divi, R.L., Churchwell, M.I. Chem. Res. Toxicol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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