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J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 9;276(6):4315-21. Epub 2000 Nov 8.

Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of catalase in the cytosolic or mitochondrial compartment protects against cytochrome P450 2E1-dependent toxicity in HepG2 cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) is an effective producer of reactive oxygen species such as superoxide radical and hydrogen peroxide, which may contribute to the development of alcohol liver disease or cytotoxicity. To investigate the protective role of catalase against CYP2E1-dependent cytotoxicity, E47 cells, a transfected HepG2 cell line overexpressing CYP2E1, were infected with adenoviral vectors containing human catalase cDNA (AdCat) and catalase cDNA with a mitochondrial leader sequence (AdmCat). Forty-eight hours after infection with AdCat or AdmCat at a multiplicity of infection of 100, intracellular catalase protein was increased >2-fold compared with uninfected E47 cells and E47 cells infected with empty adenoviral vector (AdNull) as determined by Western blotting and catalase activity measurements. Overexpression of catalase in the cytosol (AdCat) and in mitochondria (AdmCat) was confirmed by confocal microscopy. Cell death caused by arachidonic acid plus iron was considerably suppressed in both AdCat- and AdmCat-infected E47 cells as determined by assays of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide absorbance, lactate dehydrogenase release, and morphology changes. AdCat- and AdmCat-infected cells were also more resistant to the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and to the increase in lipid peroxidation induced by arachidonic acid and iron. This study indicates that catalase in the cytosol and catalase in mitochondria are capable of protecting HepG2 cells expressing CYP2E1 against cytotoxicity induced by oxidants that promote lipid peroxidation and suggests the possibility that such agents may be useful in protecting against the development of alcohol liver injury.

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