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Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Apr 15;50(8):953-62. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Characterization of the threshold for NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase activity in intact sulforaphane-treated pulmonary arterial endothelial cells.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Treatment of bovine pulmonary arterial endothelial cells in culture with the phase II enzyme inducer sulforaphane (5μM, 24h; sulf-treated) increased cell-lysate NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) activity by 5.7 ± 0.6 (mean ± SEM)-fold, but intact-cell NQO1 activity by only 2.8 ± 0.1-fold compared to control cells. To evaluate the hypothesis that the threshold for sulforaphane-induced intact-cell NQO1 activity reflects a limitation in the capacity to supply NADPH at a sufficient rate to drive all the induced NQO1 to its maximum activity, total KOH-extractable pyridine nucleotides were measured in cells treated with duroquinone to stimulate maximal NQO1 activity. NQO1 activation increased NADP(+) in control and sulf-treated cells, with the effect more pronounced in the sulf-treated cells, in which the NADPH was also decreased. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH) inhibition partially blocked NQO1 activity in control and sulf-treated cells, but G-6-PDH overexpression via transient transfection with the human cDNA alleviated neither the restriction on intact sulf-treated cell NQO1 activity nor the impact on the NADPH/NADP(+) ratios. Intracellular ATP levels were not affected by NQO1 activation in control or sulf-treated cells. An increased dependence on extracellular glucose and a rightward shift in the K(m) for extracellular glucose were observed in NQO1-stimulated sulf-treated vs control cells. The data suggest that glucose transport in the sulf-treated cells may be insufficient to support the increased metabolic demand for pentose phosphate pathway-generated NADPH as an explanation for the NQO1 threshold.

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