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J Biol Chem. 2000 Sep 15;275(37):29091-9.

Protein targets of monocrotaline pyrrole in pulmonary artery endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biosciences and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


A single administration of monocrotaline to rats results in pathologic alterations in the lung and heart similar to human pulmonary hypertension. In order to produce these lesions, monocrotaline is oxidized to monocrotaline pyrrole in the liver followed by hematogenous transport to the lung where it injures pulmonary endothelium. In this study, we determined specific endothelial targets for (14)C-monocrotaline pyrrole using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and autoradiographic detection of protein metabolite adducts. Selective labeling of specific proteins was observed. Labeled proteins were digested with trypsin, and the resulting peptides were analyzed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The results were searched against sequence data bases to identify the adducted proteins. Five abundant adducted proteins were identified as galectin-1, protein-disulfide isomerase, probable protein-disulfide isomerase (ER60), beta- or gamma-cytoplasmic actin, and cytoskeletal tropomyosin (TM30-NM). With the exception of actin, the proteins identified in this study have never been identified as potential targets for pyrroles, and the majority of these proteins have either received no or minimal attention as targets for other electrophilic compounds. The known functions of these proteins are discussed in terms of their potential for explaining the pulmonary toxicity of monocrotaline.

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