We previously developed a screening method to identify proteins that undergo aggregation through S-mercuration by methylmercury (MeHg) and found that rat arginase I is a target protein for MeHg (Kanda et al. in Arch Toxicol 82:803-808, 2008). In the present study, we characterized another S-mercurated protein from a rat hepatic preparation that has a subunit mass of 42 kDa, thereby facilitating its aggregation. Two-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subsequent peptide mass fingerprinting using matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry revealed that the 42 kDa protein was NAD-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH). With recombinant rat SDH, we found that MeHg is covalently bound to SDH through Cys44, Cys119, Cys129 and Cys164, resulting in the inhibition of its catalytic activity, release of zinc ions and facilitates protein aggregation. Mutation analysis indicated that Cys44, which ligates the active site zinc atom, and Cys129 play a crucial role in the MeHg-mediated aggregation of SDH. Pretreatment with the cofactor NAD, but not NADP or FAD, markedly prevented aggregation of SDH. Such a protective effect of NAD on the aggregation of SDH caused by MeHg is discussed.
- Covalent modification
- Sorbitol dehydrogenase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis