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Department of Biochemistry

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Animals; Antibodies; Cadmium; Chick Embryo; Chickens; Enzyme Induction; Glutethimide; Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing); inhibitors; Humans; Immunoblotting; Immunoglobulin G; Iron; Male; Microsomes, Liver; NADH Dehydrogenase; Oxidoreductases; *Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors; Protease Inhibitors; Rabbits; Rats


Biochemistry | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology


Monospecific polyclonal rabbit antibodies to a purified form of haem oxygenase of chick liver, showing sequence similarity to mammalian haem oxygenase-1, were raised and used to study characteristics of the oxygenase. The antibodies inhibited activity of the purified oxygenase, but not other enzyme components (NADPH:cytochrome reductase and biliverdin reductase) of the standard assay mixture of haem oxygenase. In addition, the antibodies inhibited activity of haem oxygenase in microsomes (microsomal fractions) from Cd(2+)-treated chick liver, spleen, testis and brain. Western (immuno-) blots of microsomal proteins of selected organs from chick, rat and man, and homogenates of chick-embryo liver-cell cultures, probed with the antibodies, showed a major protein with a molecular mass of 33-34 kDa and a lower-molecular-mass protein (28-29 kDa) of variable intensity. Studies with trypsin and selected proteinase inhibitors established that the smaller peptide was a proteolytic product of the larger. Treatment of chick-embryo liver-cell cultures with CdCl2, a potent inducer of haem oxygenase, increased the degree of proteinase-mediated cleavage of the 33 kDa protein to the lower-molecular-mass form. These results indicate that, under at least some conditions, such cultures should be homogenized in the presence of trypsin inhibitor to prevent proteolytic degradation of the enzyme and allow maximal expression of haem oxygenase activity. The antibodies also reacted with haem oxygenase from spleen, testis and brain of both chicks and rats, and the spleen of humans. A method for quantifying the amount of haem oxygenase protein was developed with use of slot-blots and laser densitometry; linearity was observed from 0 to 5 ng of haem oxygenase protein per slot, and the method was applied to sonicated cultured chick-embryo liver cells treated with Cd2+ (0.3 mM) or iron plus glutethimide. In both cases, increases in enzyme activity were of similar magnitude to increases in amounts of enzyme protein. Approximate amounts of haem oxygenase protein in microsomes of several organs from intact animals could also be estimated by the use of slot-blot-laser densitometry, and the amounts measured were increased by the addition of purified haem oxygenase to the microsomal preparations. Results of these studies indicated that haem oxygenase-1 could be detected in microsomes from all chick or rat organs studied, including testis and brain.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)


Biochem J. 1991 Nov 1;279 ( Pt 3):849-54.

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The Biochemical journal

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Biochemistry Commons