We have previously reported that renal carcinogens examined in rats increase tubular cell proliferation and topoisomerase (Topo) IIα+ cells. The present study was aimed at identifying early prediction markers of carcinogens after 28-day treatment in rats. Following gene expression screening by microarrays in renal tubules with renal carcinogens, immunohistochemical analysis and TUNEL-assay were performed with carcinogens targeting different organs. All renal carcinogens tested (ferric nitrilotriacetic acid, ochratoxin A (OTA), monuron, tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate, and potassium bromate) increased tubular cells immunoreactive for minichromosome maintenance 3 (Mcm3) or ubiquitin D (Ubd) or those showing apoptosis, compared with untreated controls or non-carcinogenic renal toxicants. Carcinogens targeting the liver (thioacetamide (TAA), fenbendazole, piperonyl butoxide (PBO) and methyleugenol), thyroid (sulfadimethoxine), urinary bladder (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), forestomach (butylated hydroxyanisole), glandular stomach (catechol), and colon (chenodeoxycholic acid and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine) were examined for induction of Mcm3, Ubd, Topo IIα, Ki-67 and apoptosis using non-carcinogenic toxicants as negative controls. All carcinogens increased Mcm3+, Ubd+, Topo IIα+, Ki-67+ or TUNEL+ cells, except for hepatocarcinogen PBO and both colon carcinogens, which did not increase cell proliferation. Ubd+ cells co-expressing Topo IIα was increased without changing phospho-Histone H3-co-expressing cell population as examined with OTA and TAA. Results revealed cooperative responses of Topo IIα, Ubd and apoptosis by carcinogens inducing high proliferation activity, irrespective of target organs, examined here after a 28-day administration. Aberrant expression of Ubd at G2 phase and increased apoptosis reflecting aberrant cell cycle regulation may be the common feature of these carcinogens.
We previously demonstrated that 28-day administration of carcinogens that evoked cell proliferation as determined by immunoreactivity for Ki-67 or minichromosome maintenance 3 (Mcm3), in many target organs, increased the numbers of topoisomerase (Topo) IIα+, ubiquitin D (Ubd)+, and TUNEL+ apoptotic cells. We also found increased co-expression of Topo IIα and Ubd, suggestive of increased spindle checkpoint disruption at the M phase. To investigate the roles of these markers in the early stages of carcinogenesis, we examined distribution changes in several carcinogenic target organs using rat initiation-promotion models. Promoting agents targeting the liver (piperonyl butoxide, methapyrilene hydrochloride), thyroid (sulfadimethoxine), urinary bladder (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), and forestomach and glandular stomach (catechol) were administered to rats after initiation treatment for each target organ. Numbers of Ki-67+, Mcm3+, Topo IIα+ and TUNEL+ cells increased within preneoplastic lesions as determined by glutathione S-transferase placental form in the liver or phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase in the thyroid, and hyperplastic lesions having no known preneoplastic markers in the urinary bladder, forestomach and glandular stomach. On the other hand, Ubd+ cells did not increase within these preneoplastic lesions, but increased within hyperplastic lesions. These results suggest that both cell proliferation and apoptosis may be involved in the formation of preneoplastic lesions in the liver and thyroid examined here; however, spindle checkpoint disruption may not be involved in this process. Changes in hyperplastic lesions of the urinary bladder, forestomach and glandular stomach are similar to the 28-day carcinogen-treated cases, suggestive of the hyperplastic cellular character before the preneoplastic state.
Rebound is known to occur most typically when topical glucocorticoids are abruptly discontinued; however, its frequency and severity are poorly characterized. We previously created a novel murine model of topical glucocorticoid-induced pruritus; however, the mechanism underlying pruritus in this model has not been elucidated. Using this murine model, we aimed to determine the cause of augmentation of pruritus with a focus on the production of prostaglandin (PG) D2.BALB/c mice with chronic allergic contact dermatitis induced by 5 weeks of repeated application of 2,4,6-trinitro-1-chlorobenzene (TNCB) were treated topically with dexamethasone for 5 weeks immediately after the elicitation of dermatitis and after ear-swelling and scratching behavior were measured. RBL-2H3 mast cells were used to investigate the effect of dexamethasone on degranulation or PGD2 production in IgE/antigen-stimulated mast cells.The scratching behavior induced by TNCB was augmented by topical application of dexamethasone, but dexamethasone did not have any effect on scratching bouts in mice that had not been treated with TNCB. Topical dexamethasone reduced the PGD2 level, which increase in TNCB-treated mice, to the baseline level. Moreover, dexamethasone significantly decreased the PGD2 production in IgE/antigen-stimulated RBL-2H3 mast cells; however, the same concentration of dexamethasone did not have any effect on the degranulation of stimulated mast cells.Topical glucocorticoids may exacerbate pruritus in a mouse model of allergic contact dermatitis via inhibition of PGD2 production in antigen-mediated activated mast cells in the skin.
Flutriafol is a triazole fungicide that induces spontaneous and depolarization-stimulated release of dopamine from rat striatum, although the neurochemical mechanism by which this fungicide induces this effect is unknown. The purpose of the present work was to assess the implication of ionotropic glutamatergic receptors and nitric oxide (NO) production in the flutriafol-induced dopamine release from rat striatum. To this, we have used non-competitive antagonists of NMDA (dizocilpine, MK-801), and (AMPA)/kainate (6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, CNQX) receptors, or nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors (Nomega-nitro-L-arginine -L-NARG - and 7-nitro-indazol - 7-NI), to study the striatal dopamine release induced by flutriafol. Intrastriatal infusion of 6 mM flutriafol increased the dopamine levels to 984 ± 141%, with respect to basal levels. Infusion of flutriafol (6 mM) in MK-801 (500 μM) or CNQX (500 μM) pretreated animals, increased striatal dopamine levels to 489 ± 74% and 477 ± 78%, with respect to basal levels, respectively, these increases being 50.3% and 51.5% smaller than those induced by flutriafol in non-pretreated animals. Infusion of flutriafol (6 mM) in L-NARG (1 mM) or 7-NI (100 μM) pretreated animals, increased the extracellular dopamine levels to 400 ± 88.5 and 479 ± 69.4%, with respect to basal levels, respectively, these increases being 59.3 and 51% smaller than those induced by flutriafol in non-pretreated animals. In summary, flutriafol appears to act, at least in part, through an overstimulation of NMDA receptors with possible NO production to induce dopamine release, and the administration of NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists and NOS inhibitors protects against flutriafol-induced dopamine release from rat striatum.
Diclofenac (DCF), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is well known to induce idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity. Although there remains much to be elucidated about its onset mechanism, it is widely accepted as a hypothesis that idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity arises from a specific immune response to a hapten formed by covalent binding of drugs or their reactive metabolites to hepatic tissues. In this study, we investigated the effects of covalent binding of DCF reactive metabolites to hepatic tissues using a rat model of liver injury induced by co-treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at a non-hepatotoxic dose. In studies done in vitro using hepatic microsomes prepared from rats treated with LPS alone, 4’- and 5-hydroxylation activities on DCF metabolism and adducts of reactive metabolites to dansyl glutathione (dGSH) were markedly decreased associated with a decrease in total P450 content. However, in studies done in vivo, the LPS/DCF co-treatment significantly increased adducts of 5-hydroxydiclofenac (5-OH-DCF) to rat hepatic tissues and delayed the elimination of 5-OH-DCF from plasma. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of co-treatment on hepatic GSH level in rats. A decrease of hepatic GSH was observed with the LPS/DCF co-treatment but not with LPS or DCF alone. The results suggest that covalent binding of reactive metabolites via 5-OH-DCF to hepatic tissues may play an important role in the onset of DCF-induced idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity, especially under decreased GSH conditions.
Small minipigs (Microminipig, registered as a novel variety of pig in Japan) were developed for use in non-clinical pharmacological/toxicological studies for new drug development. To assess the pharmacokinetics of selective substrates of human cytochrome P450s in Microminipigs, caffeine (human P450 1A2), warfarin (P450 2C9), omeprazole (P450 2C19), metoprolol (P450 2D6), and midazolam (P450 3A) were administered in combination, intravenously (0.20 mg kg−1)or orally (1.0 mg kg−1). Plasma samples obtained, up to 24 hr after dosing, from four male and four female Microminipigs were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to estimate typical pharmacokinetic parameters for each analyte. Bioavailabilities were approximately 80% for caffeine and warfarin, but less than 10% for omeprazole, metoprolol, and midazolam. No significant differences were noted, for the five probes, in area under the plasma concentration-time curve and peak plasma concentration values obtained from male and female Microminipigs. Clearance of caffeine, warfarin, omeprazole or midazolam in vivo, mediated mainly by cytochrome P450s 1A, 2C or 3A in Microminipigs, was similar to data reported for human. However, metoprolol metabolism, mediated by P450 2D enzymes in Microminipigs, was faster than reported for in vivo human kinetic parametersand in vitro in a human liver microsomal system. The results of this study suggest that the Microminipig is a suitable animal model for use in biological experiments for comparisons of pharmacokinetics of drugs in humans. The five-probes in combination used in this study demonstrate the disposition of typical P450 drugs in Microminipigs in vivo,with the aim of use in non-clinical pharmacological/toxicological studies.
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a syndrome observed in patients with liver dysfunction such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, and is characterized by cognitive impairment, personality changes, and a depressed level of consciousness. The detailed mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of HE remains unclear. In the present study, our aim was to establish an animal model for HE with cirrhosis. Therefore, we carried out behavioral and biochemical analysis of cirrhotic rats after treatment with thioacetamide (TAA) for 20 weeks. The rats subjected to chronic TAA treatment (TAA rats) showed reduction of cognitive scores in the novel object recognition test (NOR), and a decrease in immobility and an increase in swimming in the forced swim test (FST). In biochemical analyses, the TAA rats exhibited elevated blood levels of ammonia, and increased metabolic activities of serotonergic and noradrenergic neurons in the brain, while the levels of Glu and GABA were not affected. Post-oral treatment of lactulose, a clinically utilized drug for HE, effectively reduced the elevated blood ammonia levels, and restored the reduced cognitive scores and the decreased immobility, without any effects on neurotransmitter contents in the brain, compared with the control. These results indicated lactulose-restorable memory disturbance and irritated mood in the TAA rats. In other words, rats treated chronically with TAA are a potential model for cirrhosis-HE, and the combination of NOR and FST in TAA rats may be useful as a simple assay system for the screening and development of anti-HE agents.
The present study was performed to elucidate toxicity profile of citrinin (CTN) after repeated oral doses for 90 days, especially on the kidneys and female reproductive organs using female BALB/c mice. We first performed a 70-day repeated oral dose toxicity study of CTN by setting the doses at 1.25 and 7.5 ppm in the drinking water (Experiment 1). As a result, CTN did not produce any toxicity in the kidneys, liver, and female genital organs/tracts, except for a slight increase of relative ovary weight. We, next, performed 90-day repeated oral dose toxicity study of CTN by increasing the dose levels at 15 and 30 ppm in the drinking water. The results suggested that CTN did not produce any toxicity in the kidneys, liver, and female genital organs/tracts, except for increase of both absolute and relative ovary weights accompanying increase of large follicles at ≥ 15 ppm. On the basis of these findings, the lowest-observable-adverse-effect level of CTN was 15 ppm (2.25 mg/kg body weight/day) in the drinking water for female BALB/c mice after 90-day oral treatment.
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with unique chemical and electromechanical properties are ideal candidates for the development of drug delivery platforms. The scarce knowledge for the effects of exposure to MWCNTs during pregnancy on postnatal outcomes motivated us to investigate whether intraperitoneal injections (i.p.) of MWCNTs during mating and early pregnancy affect on reproductive and neurobehavioral endpoints and psychobiological status of pups. Thirty virgin female mice were divided to three groups (n = 10 for each); two treated groups injected i.p. with 1 and 10 mg of MWCNTs suspended in 1 ml of phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS) in both mating day and gestation day 3, respectively. The control group was injected i.p. with an equal volume of PBS as a vehicle. MWCNT-treated dams did not exhibit considerable changes in their reproductive performance in gestation and lactation periods. MWCNT-treated pups exhibited similar ontogenetic expressions of neurobehavioral and physical endpoints as compared with control group. Most notably, exposure to MWCNTs was increased depressive and anxious behaviors of treated pups in parallel to adverse effect on their internal organ weights. The absolute thymus weight was declined in MWCNT-treated groups while absolute weights of liver and spleen decreased in group treated by 1 mg of MWCNT as compared to control group. Relative organ weights in MWCNT-treated groups were almost similar to control group.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 19~24 nt non-coding RNA molecules that regulate expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Evidence indicates that miRNAs play an essential role in physiological and pathological conditions including pulmonary development, inflammation, fibrosis and cancer. The aim of the present study is to investigate the altered miRNAs expression profile in rats with experimental silicosis. We duplicated silicosis rat model, and identify the miRNA expression pattern of silicosis rat with miRNA microarray. Compared with normal lung tissue, fourteen miRNAs were found significantly up-regulated while the other twenty-five down-regulated in silicosis samples. The differential expression of two selected miRNAs was confirmed by stem-loop real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Our results indicate that the 39 altered miRNAs may be involved in lung fibrosis of rats that were exposed to silica dust. Furthermore, the microarray results provide a solid basis for further validation, such as identification of other miRNAs that may be related to inflammation and fibrosis. The findings are paving way for silicosis early prevention, prognosis and possible therapy.
Oseltamivir, a prodrug of the neuraminidase inhibitor [3R, 4R, 5S]-4-Acetamide-5-amino-3-(1-ethylpropyl)-1-cyclohexene-1-carboxylate phosphate (Ro 64-0802), is widely used for treatment of influenza infections in Japan, but may be associated with mental instability and suicidal tendencies as a rare side effect, especially in infants and young patients. We examined developmental changes in the brain distribution of oseltamivir and Ro 64-0802, and in the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in rats by 8 weeks. Brain concentration and Kp,app,brain (brain-to-plasma concentration ratio) of oseltamivir were highest in 2-week-old rats (1.45 µg/g brain and 0.14, respectively), and were negatively correlated with both age and P-gp expression at the BBB. In contrast, brain concentration and Kp,app,brain of Ro 64-0802 after oral gavage of oseltamivir were lowest in 2-week-old rats (0.02 µg/g brain and 0.02), and increased with age. Mass imaging analysis revealed that both compounds were distributed homogenously in brain cross-sections, including the hippocampus. From these results, it was estimated that oseltamivir concentration throughout the brain cross-sections was 70-fold and 0.9-fold higher than that of Ro 64-0802 in 2-week-old and 8-week-old rats, respectively. Such developmental changes of prodrug/drug concentration ratio, if they also occur in humans, may provide a rational basis for the putative central nervous system (CNS) side effects in young patients.
The purpose of this research was to investigate if Vitamin E could decrease the toxic-effects of endosulfan on erythrocyte immunity and its regulating mechanism. The levels of endosulfan and Vitamin E were (in mg/kg/d), respectively, 0 and 0 (control group), 0.8 and 0 (endosulfan-only group), 0.8 and 100 (experimental group). The results showed that Vitamin E inhibited endosulfan-induced decreases in rosette ratios of erythrocyte C3b receptor and increases in rosette ratios of erythrocyte immune complex. Vitamin E reversed the decline tendency of erythrocytes to regulate T-lymphocyte activity and the increase tendency of erythrocyte immunosuppressive factor activity in plasma induced by endosulfan. Further, Vitamin E alleviated the decreases of CD35 mRNA levels in spleen and CD35 expression on B-lymphocyte surfaces, antagonized a decline in Crry mRNA levels. Lastly, Vitamin E reversed induced decreases in total anti-oxidation capability and increases in malondi-aldehyde and free radical levels in spleen caused by endosulfan. The results suggested that Vitamin E relieved endosulfan-induced effects on erythrocytes immunity, reversed changes in expression of erythrocyte immune factors, and antagonized oxidative stress. Vitamin E could stabilize the expression of Crry receptor by inhibiting oxidative stress, and thereby reverse the decrease of erythrocyte immunity caused by endosulfan.
The carcinogenicity of ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) was examined by oral administration using F344/DuCrlCrlj rats. Groups of 50 male and 50 female rats were given drinking water containing ETBE at doses of 0, 625, 2,500 or 10,000 ppm (w/w) for 104 weeks. No significant increase in the incidence of tumors was detected in any organ of either sex. Rat-specific non-neoplastic lesions were observed in the kidney: An increase in the severity of chronic progressive nephropathy was observed in the male and female 10,000 ppm groups, and increased incidences of urothelial hyperplasia of the pelvis and mineral deposition in the renal papilla were observed in the male 2,500 and 10,000 ppm groups. Besides these lesions, no treatment-related histopathological changes were observed in any organ or tissue in either sex. Thus, the present study demonstrated that a two year administration ETBE in the drinking water did not exert any carcinogenic effects in either male or female rats.
The production of man-made nanoparticles is increasing in nanotechnology, and health effect of nanomaterials is of concern. We previously reported that fetal exposure to titanium dioxide (TiO2) affects the brain of offspring during the perinatal period. The aim of this study was to extract candidate brain regions of interest using a specific group of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) from a microarray dataset of the whole brain of mice prenatally exposed to TiO2 nanoparticle. After subcutaneous injection of TiO2 (total 0.4 mg) into pregnant mice on gestational days 6-15, brain tissues were collected from male fetuses on embryonic day 16 and from male pups on postnatal days 2, 7, 14 and 21. Gene expression changes were determined by microarray and analyzed with MeSH indicating brain regions. As a result, a total of twenty-one MeSH were significantly enriched from gene expression data. The results provide data to support the hypothesis that prenatal TiO2 exposure results in alteration to the cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb and some regions intimately related to dopamine systems of offspring mice. The genes associated with the striatum were differentially expressed during the perinatal period, and those associated with the regions related to dopamine neuron system and the prefrontal region were dysregulated in the later infantile period. The anatomical information gave us clues as to the mechanisms that underlie alteration of cerebral gene expression and phenotypes induced by fetal TiO2 exposure.
Lipophilic-hydrophilic balance is a quite important determinant of pharmacokinetic properties of pharmaceuticals. Thus it is a key step to successfully manage lipophilic-hydrophilic balance in drug design. We have designed unique modular molecules, symmetrically branched oligoglycerols (BGL) as an alternative means to endow hydrophobic molecules with much hydrophilicity. We have succeeded in improving the water-solubility of several hydrophobic medicinal small molecules and thermal stability of artificial protein by covalent conjugation to BGL. We have also demonstrated that a representative BGL, symmetrically branched glycerol trimer (BGL003) does not exhibit significant cytotoxicity against human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells. However, there have been no reports suggesting whether BGL could be used in safety in vivo. Therefore, evaluation of acute oral toxicity of BGL003 in healthy mice was conducted. Here we demonstrate that an oral administration of BGL003 did not exhibit acute lethal toxicity up to 3,000 mg/kg. Body weight, food intake, blood glucose levels and weights of tissues were not affected by a short-term repetitive administration of increasing doses of BGL003. Biochemical indications related to hepatic disorders and tissue damage were unchanged, either. A single administration study revealed that 50% lethal dose of BGL003 should be more than 2,000 mg/kg. BGL003 will be safe and suitable approach to improve hydrophilicity of hydrophobic compounds.
Metallothionein (MT), a low-molecular-weight protein with a high affinity for divalent heavy metal ions, is involved in many pathophysiological processes, including metal homeostasis, detoxification, cell proliferation and protection against oxidative damage. We previously found that MT in gastric mucosa plays a role in protecting against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-induced gastritis at the early stage of infection. H. pylori-induced chronic gastric inflammation is shown to be associated with gastric carcinogenesis. Thus, to examine whether gastric MT contributes to protection against H. pylori-induced chronic inflammation, we compared histological changes in the gastric mucosa of MT-null and the wild-type mice at 53 weeks after inoculation three times with H. pylori SS1. As a result, we observed disruption of the gastric mucosa in MT-null mice, but not in the wild-type mice, even at the late stage of H. pylori-infection. Evaluation of pathological changes in gastric specimens by the updated Sydney grading system revealed that scores related to chronic inflammation and polymorphonuclear cell activity were higher in infected MT-null mice than those in the wild-type mice. Furthermore, a higher score for metaplasia was also observed in the MT-null stomach. These results suggested that MT might be involved in protecting against H. pylori-induced gastric chronic inflammation associated with carcinogenesis.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the cell isolation process in the alkaline comet assay using epidermal skin cells. When we explored the cell isolation method for the alkaline comet assay using the 3-dimensional (3D) human epidermal skin model, we found that DNA damage and cytotoxicity were induced during the cell isolation process. In particular, trypsin 5 min treatment with ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) showed about 5 times %DNA in the tail value compared to without EDTA treatment. In general, EDTA is commonly used for cell isolation, but it is known to induce genotoxicity due to secondary effects. We therefore evaluated the effect of EDTA and pH in the alkaline comet assay on a monolayer culture of rat keratinocytes. As a result, there was a significant increase of %DNA in tail values by treatment with 0.1 w/v% EDTA for 60 min; however, there was no difference in the %DNA in tail values between 0.1 w/v% EDTA/PBS(-) (pH 6.8) and 0.1 w/v% EDTA/PBS(-) (pH 7.4). These data imply that there is a need to control the EDTA conditions for cell isolation in the epidermal skin cells.
Methylmercury is an environmental pollutant that is toxic to the central nervous system; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity remain unclear. Methylmercury increases expression of several chemokines in the cerebellum of mice treated with methylmercury. The present study analyzes the mechanism underlying methylmercury-induced chemokine expression using human 1321N1 astrocytes, and shows that methylmercury increases CCL2 expression in these cells. The transcription factor NF-κB is involved in the induction of chemokine expression. Methylmercury increased the level of the NF-κB p65 subunit in the nuclei of 1321N1 cells. The methylmercury-induced increase in CCL2 expression was significantly decreased by suppression of p65 expression by RNA interference. These results suggest that methylmercury induces chemokine expression through activation of NF-κB in human astrocytes.
Expression of the chemokine genes Ccl2, Ccl4, Ccl7, Ccl9, and Ccl12 is increased in cerebellum of mice treated with methylmercury. To investigate the effect of methylmercury on other tissues and organs, levels of chemokine mRNA were investigated in mouse cerebrum, kidney, liver, and spleen. In cerebrum, expression levels of the five chemokines were significantly increased after methylmercury treatment. In kidney, expression levels of Ccl2, Ccl7, Ccl9, and Ccl12, but not Ccl4 were increased. No significant effects were seen on mRNA levels of the chemokines in liver and spleen. Thus, although methylmercury increases the expression levels of multiple chemokines in the brain and kidney, expression of Ccl4 increases only in the brain. Hence, this phenomenon may be involved in methylmercury toxicity specific to the central nervous system.
Overexpression of Cdc34, a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, confers methylmercury resistance on yeast cells. This suggests that degradation, by the ubiquitin-proteasome (UP) system, of proteins that enhance methylmercury toxicity might be a factor in the development of methylmercury resistance. The present study shows that yeast cells overexpressing Whi2, a protein that is ubiquitinated in cells, are highly susceptible to methylmercury, suggesting that Whi2 may enhance methylmercury toxicity. Although both Whi2 deficiency and Cdc34 overexpression individually confer methylmercury resistance on yeast cells, Whi2-deficient cells overexpressing Cdc34 showed no additive resistance to methylmercury, compared with Whi2-expressing cells that overexpress Cdc34. The intracellular level of Whi2 was significantly reduced by Cdc34 overexpression; however, this reduction was almost completely attenuated when proteasomal degradation was inhibited. These results suggest that overexpression of Cdc34 confers methylmercury resistance on yeast cells through the UP system by promoting degradation of Whi2, a methylmercury toxicity-enhancing protein.
Deubiquitinating enzymes that influence the methylmercury susceptibility of yeast cells were investigated. Deficiency of Ubp2, Ubp4, Ubp 6, or Ubp14 conferred methylmercury resistance on cells, while deficiency of Ubp7, Ubp13, or Ubp15 conferred high methylmercury susceptibility. Of these enzymes, deficiency of Ubp4 and Ubp6 was associated with particularly high methylmercury resistance. Yeast cells treated with a proteasome inhibitor showed methylmercury resistance due to Ubp4 deficiency, but not due to Ubp6 deficiency. Thus, the enhanced methylmercury toxicity associated with Ubp6 expression requires proteasomal activity, suggesting that Ubp4 and Ubp6 contribute to enhanced methylmercury toxicity through different mechanisms.