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author:("Liu, tijuana")
1.  Pentavalent methylated arsenicals are substrates of human AQP9 
Liver aquaglyceroporin AQP9 facilitates movement of trivalent inorganic arsenite (AsIII) and organic monomethylarsonous acid (MAsIII). However, the transport pathway for the two major pentavalent arsenic cellular metabolites, MAsV and DMAsV, remains unknown in mammals. These products of arsenic metabolism, in particular DMAsV, are the major arsenicals excreted in the urine of mammals. In this study, we examined the uptake of the two pentavalent organic arsenicals by human AQP9 in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Xenopus laevis oocytes microinjected with AQP9 cRNA exhibited uptake of both MAsV and DMAsV in a pH-dependent manner. The rate of transport was much higher at acidic pH (pH5.5) than at neutral pH. Hg(II), an aquaporin inhibitor, inhibited transport of AsIII, MAsIII, MAsV and DMAsV via AQP9. However, phloretin, which inhibits water and glycerol permeation via AQP9, can only inhibit transport of pentavalent MAsV and DMAsV but not trivalent AsIII and MAsIII, indicating the translocation mechanisms of these arsenic species are not exactly the same. Reagents such as FCCP, valinomycin and nigericin that dissipate transmembrane proton potential or change the transmemebrane pH gradient did not significantly inhibit all arsenic transport via AQP9, suggesting the transport of pentavalent arsenic is not proton coupled. The results suggest that in addition to the initial uptake of trivalent inorganic AsIII inside cells, AQP9 plays a dual role in the detoxification of arsenic metabolites by facilitating efflux from cells.
PMCID: PMC4266138  PMID: 19802720
AQP9; Liver; Urine; Methylation; Arsenite; Arsenate; Monomethylarsonous acid; Monomethylarsonate; Dimethylarsinate
2.  Trivalent arsenicals and glucose use different translocation pathways in mammalian GLUT1 
Rat glucose transporter isoform 1 or rGLUT1, which is expressed in neonatal heart and the epithelial cells that form the blood-brain barrier, facilitates uptake of the trivalent arsenicals arsenite as As(OH)3 and methylarsenite as CH3As(OH)2. GLUT1 may be the major pathway for arsenic uptake into heart and brain, where the metalloid causes cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity. In this paper, we compare the translocation properties of GLUT1 for trivalent CH3As(OH)2 and glucose. Substitution of Ser66, Arg126 and Thr310, residues critical for glucose uptake, led to decreased uptake of glucose but increased uptake of CH3As(OH)2. The Km for uptake of CH3As(OH)2 of three clinically identified mutants, S66F, R126K and T310I, were decreased 4–10 fold compared to native GLUT1. The osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) of GLUT1 and the three clinical isolates increased in parallel with the rate of CH3As(OH)2 uptake. GLUT1 inhibitors Hg(II), cytochalasin B and forskolin reduced uptake of glucose but not CH3As(OH)2. These results indicate that CH3As(OH)2 and water use a common translocation pathway in GLUT1 that is different than that of glucose transport.
PMCID: PMC3733330  PMID: 21069159
GLUT1; glucose permease; arsenite; monomethylarsenous acid; water translocation pathway; GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1-DS)
3.  Identification of a S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) dependent arsenic methyltransferase in Danio rerio 
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology  2012;262(2):185-193.
Arsenic methylation is an important cellular metabolic process that modulates arsenic toxicity and carcinogenicity. Biomethylation of arsenic produces a series of mono-, di- and tri-methylated arsenic metabolites that can be detected in tissues and excretions. Here we report that zebrafish exposed to arsenite (AsIII) produces organic arsenicals, including MMAIII, MMAV and DMAV with characteristic tissue ratios, demonstrating that an arsenic methylation pathway exists in zebrafish. In mammals, cellular inorganic arsenic is methylated by a SAM-dependent arsenic methyltransferase, AS3MT. A zebrafish arsenic methyltransferase homologue, As3mt, was identified by sequence alignment. Western blotting analysis showed that As3mt was universally expressed in zebrafish tissues. Prominent expression in liver and intestine correlated with methylated arsenic metabolites detected in those tissues. As3mt was expressed in and purified from E. coli for in vitro functional studies. Our results demonstrated that As3mt methylated AsIII to DMAV as an end product and produced MMAIII and MMAV as intermediates. The activity of As3mt was inhibited by elevated concentrations of the substrate AsIII as well as the metalloid selenite, which is a well-known antagonistic micronutrient of arsenic toxicity. The activity As3mt was abolished by substitution of either Cys160 or Cys210, which correspond to conserved cysteine residues in AS3MT homologues, suggesting that they are involved in catalysis. Expression in zebrafish of an enzyme that has a similar function to human and rodent orthologues in catalyzing intracellular arsenic biomethylation validates the applicability of zebrafish as a valuable vertebrate model for understanding arsenic-associated diseases in humans.
PMCID: PMC3394433  PMID: 22575231
zebrafish; arsenic; arsenite; selenite; methylation; SAM; GSH; HPLC-ICP-MS; MMAIII; MMAV; DMAV
4.  Increasing extracellular matrix collagen level and MMP activity induces cyst development in polycystic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:109.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) kidneys exhibit increased extracellular matrix (ECM) collagen expression and metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity. We investigated the role of these increases on cystic disease progression in PKD kidneys.
We examined the role of type I collagen (collagen I) and membrane bound type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP) on cyst development using both in vitro 3 dimensional (3D) collagen gel culture and in vivo PCK rat model of PKD.
We found that collagen concentration is critical in controlling the morphogenesis of MDCK cells cultured in 3D gels. MDCK cells did not form 3D structures at collagen I concentrations lower than 1 mg/ml but began forming tubules when the concentration reaches 1 mg/ml. Significantly, these cells began to form cyst when collagen I concentration reached to 1.2 mg/ml, and the ratios of cyst to tubule structures increased as the collagen I concentration increased. These cells exclusively formed cyst structures at a collagen I concentration of 1.8 mg/ml or higher. Overexpression of MT1-MMP in MDCK cells significantly induced cyst growth in 3D collagen gel culture. Conversely, inhibition of MMPs activity with doxycycline, a FDA approved pan-MMPs inhibitor, dramatically slowed cyst growth. More importantly, the treatment of PCK rats with doxycycline significantly decreased renal tubule cell proliferation and markedly inhibited the cystic disease progression.
Our data suggest that increased collagen expression and MMP activity in PKD kidneys may induce cyst formation and expansion. Our findings also suggest that MMPs may serve as a therapeutic target for the treatment of human PKD.
PMCID: PMC3487993  PMID: 22963260
Collagen I; 3 dimensional (3D) collagen gel culture; Doxycycline; Matrix metalloproteinase; PCK rats; Polycystic kidney disease
5.  Pentavalent Arsenate Transport by Zebrafish Phosphate Transporter NaPi-IIb1 
Zebrafish  2011;8(3):125-131.
Arsenate is a pentavalent form of arsenic that shares similar chemical properties to phosphate. It has been shown to be taken up by phosphate transporters in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes such as yeast and Escherichia coli. Recently, the arsenate uptake in vertebrate cells was reported to be facilitated by mammalian type II sodium/phosphate transporter with different affinities. As arsenate is the most common form of arsenic exposure in aquatic system, identifying the uptake pathway of arsenate into aquatic animals is a crucial step in the elucidation of the entire metabolic pathway of arsenic. In this study, the ability of a zebrafish phosphate transporter, NaPi-IIb1 (SLC34a2a), to transport arsenate was examined. Our results demonstrate that a type II phosphate transporter in zebrafish, NaPi-IIb1, can transport arsenate in vitro when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. NaPi-IIb1 mediates a high-affinity arsenate transport, with a Km of 0.22 mM. The natural substrate of NaPi-IIb1, dibasic phosphate, inhibits arsenate transport. Arsenate transport via NaPi-IIb1 is coupled with Na+ and exhibits sigmoidal kinetics with a Hill coefficient of 3.24 ± 0.19. Consistent with these in vitro studies, significant arsenate accumulation is observed in all examined zebrafish tissues where NaPi-IIb1 is expressed, particularly intestine, kidney, and eye, indicating that zebrafish NaPi-IIb1 is likely the transport protein that is responsible for arsenic accumulation in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3174731  PMID: 21854209
6.  Jen1p: A High Affinity Selenite Transporter in Yeast 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(22):3934-3941.
This report demonstrated selenite is transported through a monocarboxylate transporter Jen1p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Jen1p determined selenite sensitivity and uptake. Selenite had a similar affinity for Jen1p and a similar transport mechanism to the monocarboxylate lactate, which are both proton driven and exhibit reciprocal inhibition.
Selenium is a micronutrient in most eukaryotes, including humans, which is well known for having an extremely thin border between beneficial and toxic concentrations. Soluble tetravalent selenite is the predominant environmental form and also the form that is applied in the treatment of human diseases. To acquire this nutrient from low environmental concentrations as well as to avoid toxicity, a well-controlled transport system is required. Here we report that Jen1p, a proton-coupled monocarboxylate transporter in S. cerevisiae, catalyzes high-affinity uptake of selenite. Disruption of JEN1 resulted in selenite resistance, and overexpression resulted in selenite hypersensitivity. Transport assay showed that overexpression of Jen1p enables selenite accumulation in yeast compared with a JEN1 knock out strain, indicating the Jen1p transporter facilitates selenite accumulation inside cells. Selenite uptake by Jen1p had a Km of 0.91 mM, which is comparable to the Km for lactate. Jen1p transported selenite in a proton-dependent manner which resembles the transport mechanism for lactate. In addition, selenite and lactate can inhibit the transport of each other competitively. Therefore, we postulate selenite is a molecular mimic of monocarboxylates which allows selenite to be transported by Jen1p.
PMCID: PMC2982120  PMID: 20861301
7.  Transport pathways for arsenic and selenium: A miniriew 
Environment international  2008;35(3):512-515.
Arsenic and selenium are metalloids found in the environment. Arsenic is considered to pose the most significant potential threat to human health based on frequency of occurrence, toxicity and human exposure. Selenium, on the other hand, ranks only 147th in toxicity but, in contrast to arsenic, is also a required micronutrient. Whether a toxin or micronutrient, their metabolism requires that cells to accumulate these metalloids. In this review we discuss the membrane proteins that transport arsenic and selenium into cells, from bacteria to humans, as well as some the efflux proteins involved in detoxification.
PMCID: PMC2719050  PMID: 18789529
8.  Arsenic transport by zebrafish aquaglyceroporins 
BMC Molecular Biology  2009;10:104.
Arsenic is one of the most ubiquitous toxins and endangers the health of tens of millions of humans worldwide. It is a mainly a water-borne contaminant. Inorganic trivalent arsenic (AsIII) is one of the major species that exists environmentally. The transport of AsIII has been studied in microbes, plants and mammals. Members of the aquaglyceroporin family have been shown to actively conduct AsIII and its organic metabolite, monomethylarsenite (MAsIII). However, the transport of AsIII and MAsIII in in any fish species has not been characterized.
In this study, five members of the aquaglyceroporin family from zebrafish (Danio rerio) were cloned, and their ability to transport water, glycerol, and trivalent arsenicals (AsIII and MAsIII) and antimonite (SbIII) was investigated. Genes for at least seven aquaglyceroporins have been annotated in the zebrafish genome project. Here, five genes which are close homologues to human AQP3, AQP9 and AQP10 were cloned from a zebrafish cDNA preparation. These genes were named aqp3, aqp3l, aqp9a, aqp9b and aqp10 according to their similarities to the corresponding human AQPs. Expression of aqp9a, aqp9b, aqp3, aqp3l and aqp10 in multiple zebrafish organs were examined by RT-PCR. Our results demonstrated that these aquaglyceroporins exhibited different tissue expression. They are all detected in more than one tissue. The ability of these five aquaglyceroporins to transport water, glycerol and the metalloids arsenic and antimony was examined following expression in oocytes from Xenopus leavis. Each of these channels showed substantial glycerol transport at equivalent rates. These aquaglyceroporins also facilitate uptake of inorganic AsIII, MAsIII and SbIII. Arsenic accumulation in fish larvae and in different tissues from adult zebrafish was studied following short-term arsenic exposure. The results showed that liver is the major organ of arsenic accumulation; other tissues such as gill, eye, heart, intestine muscle and skin also exhibited significant ability to accumulate arsenic. The zebrafish larvae also accumulate considerable amounts of arsenic.
This is the first molecular identification of fish arsenite transport systems and we propose that the extensive expression of the fish aquaglyceroporins and their ability to transport metalloids suggests that aquaglyceroporins are the major pathways for arsenic accumulation in a variety of zebrafish tissues. Uptake is one important step of arsenic metabolism. Our results will contribute to a new understanding of aquatic arsenic metabolism and will support the use of zebrafish as a new model system to study arsenic associated human diseases.
PMCID: PMC2788550  PMID: 19939263
9.  Mammalian glucose permease GLUT1 facilitates transport of arsenic trioxide and methylarsonous acid† 
Arsenic exposure is associated with hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Some mammals methylate arsenic. Saccharomyces cerevisiae hexose permeases catalyze As(OH)3 uptake. Here we report that mammalian glucose transporter GLUT1 catalyzes As(OH)3 and CH3As(OH)2 uptake in yeast or in Xenopus laevis öocytes. Expression of GLUT1 in a yeast lacking other glucose transporters allows for growth on glucose. Yeast expressing yeast HXT1 or rat GLUT1 transport As(OH)3 and CH3As(OH)2. The Km of GLUT1 is to 1.2 mM for CH3As(OH)2, compared to a Km of 3 mM for glucose. Inhibition between glucose and CH3As(OH)2 is noncompetitive, suggesting differences between the translocation pathways of hexoses and arsenicals. Both human and rat GLUT1 catalyze uptake of both As(OH)3 and CH3As(OH)2 in öocytes. Thus GLUT1 may be a major pathway uptake of both inorganic and methylated arsenicals in erythrocytes or the epithelial cells of the blood-brain barrier, contributing to arsenic-related cardiovascular problems and neurotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC1764621  PMID: 17064664
10.  Methylarsonous Acid Transport by Aquaglyceroporins 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2005;114(4):527-531.
Many mammals methylate trivalent inorganic arsenic in liver to species that are released into the bloodstream and excreted in urine and feces. This study addresses how methylated arsenicals pass through cell membranes. We have previously shown that aquaglyceroporin channels, including Escherichia coli GlpF, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Fps1p, AQP7, and AQP9 from rat and human, conduct trivalent inorganic arsenic [As(III)] as arsenic trioxide, the protonated form of arsenite. One of the initial products of As(III) methylation is methylarsonous acid [MAs(III)], which is considerably more toxic than inorganic As(III). In this study, we investigated the ability of GlpF, Fps1p, and AQP9 to facilitate movement of MAs(III) and found that rat aquaglyceroporin conducted MAs(III) at a higher rate than the yeast homologue. In addition, rat AQP9 facilitates MAs(III) at a higher rate than As(III). These results demonstrate that aquaglyceroporins differ both in selectivity for and in transport rates of trivalent arsenicals. In this study, the requirement of AQP9 residues Phe-64 and Arg-219 for MAs(III) movement was examined. A hydrophobic residue at position 64 is not required for MAs(III) transport, whereas an arginine at residue 219 may be required. This is similar to that found for As(III), suggesting that As(III) and MAs(III) use the same translocation pathway in AQP9. Identification of MAs(III) as an AQP9 substrate is an important step in understanding physiologic responses to arsenic in mammals, including humans.
PMCID: PMC1440775  PMID: 16581540
arsenic trioxide; AQP9; aquaglyceroporin; methylarsonous acid
11.  Efficient Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex Presentation of Endogenously Synthesized Hepatitis C Virus Core Protein by Epstein-Barr Virus-Transformed B-Lymphoblastoid Cell Lines to CD4+ T Cells 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(10):8301-8308.
The induction of an efficient CD4+ T-cell response against hepatitis C virus (HCV) is critical for control of the chronicity of HCV infection. The ability of HCV structural protein endogenously expressed in an antigen-presenting cell (APC) to be presented by class II major histocompatibility complex molecules to CD4+ T cells was investigated by in vitro culture analyses using HCV core-specific T-cell lines and autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCLs) expressing structural HCV antigens. The T- and B-cell lines were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from HCV-infected patients. Expression and intracellular localization of core protein in transfected cells were determined by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. By stimulation with autologous B-LCLs expressing viral antigens, strong T-cell proliferative responses were induced in two of three patients, while no substantial stimulatory effects were produced by B-LCLs expressing a control protein (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase) or by B-LCLs alone. The results showed that transfected B cells presented mainly endogenously synthesized core peptides. Presentation of secreted antigens from adjacent antigen-expressing cells was not enough to stimulate a core-specific T-cell response. Only weak T-cell proliferative responses were generated by stimulation with B-LCLs that had been pulsed beforehand with at least a 10-fold-higher amount of transfected COS cells in the form of cell lysate, suggesting that presentation of antigens released from dead cells in the B-LCL cultures had a minimal role. Titrating numbers of APCs, we showed that as few as 104 transfected B-LCL APCs were sufficient to stimulate T cells. This presentation pathway was found to be leupeptin sensitive, and it can be blocked by antibody to HLA class II (DR). In addition, expression of a costimulatory signal by B7/BB1 on B cells was essential for T-cell activation.
PMCID: PMC110194  PMID: 9733874

Results 1-11 (11)