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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Oct 25;298(2):230-4.

Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate induces cyclooxygenase-2 expression in NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells.

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Department of Microbiology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, 194 Dongsan-Dong, Taegu 700-712, Republic of Korea.


Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) is a metal chelating compound that can exert either pro-oxidant or antioxidant effects in different situations. Several studies demonstrate that it can inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, which may be due to its antioxidant activity. Here, we found that PDTC rather increased COX-2 expression in NIH 3T3. The increase of COX-2 expression was inhibited by adding bathocuproline disulfonic acid, a non-permeable specific copper chelator, in the incubation medium. This result suggests that PDTC exerts its effect by transporting redox-active copper ions into the cells. In support of this observation, PDTC did not induce COX-2 expression in a serum-free environment. When PDTC was added with copper in the serum-free medium, it acted as the inducer of COX-2 expression. In addition, pretreatment of N-acetyl-L-cystein or dithiothreitol, other antioxidants, inhibited the PDTC-induced COX-2 expression. Our data indicate that PDTC induces COX-2 expression in NIH 3T3 cells, which may be due to its activities as a copper chelator and a pro-oxidant.

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