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Chem Res Toxicol. 1995 Jan-Feb;8(1):96-102.

Carbon disulfide mediated protein cross-linking by N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate.

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1
Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Abstract

N,N-Diethyldithiocarbamate and its disulfide are used as pesticides, in industrial processes, and as therapeutic agents, providing numerous opportunities for human exposure. Animal studies and in vitro investigations have demonstrated adverse effects following exposure to dithiocarbamates. The ability of dithiocarbamates to decompose to parent amine and CS2 suggests that these adverse effects may be mediated through release of CS2. The toxicity of CS2 is well established, and covalent cross-linking of proteins has been presented as a potential molecular mechanism of CS2 induced neuropathy. In the present investigation the ability of N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate to effect covalent cross-linking of proteins under physiological conditions is examined. Using 13C NMR, cross-linking was observed to proceed through dithiocarbamate formation on protein amino groups followed by the production of bis(thiocarbamoyl) disulfide, dithiocarbamate ester, and thiourea cross-linking structures. The presence of bis(lysyl) thiourea cross-linking structures was verified by complete protein hydrolysis in conjunction with GC/MS. Generation of inter- and intramolecular cross-linking was established using denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions and revealed that cross-linking proceeded more rapidly for N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate than for equimolar CS2 under similar conditions. Covalent cross-linking of solubilized neurofilament triplet proteins, the putative neurotoxic targets, was examined. Both N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate and CS2 were able to covalently cross-link the low molecular weight component of the neurofilament triplet proteins, but neither produced intermolecular cross-linking of the medium or high molecular weight component. These results establish that N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate promoted protein cross-linking occurs under physiological conditions and proceeds through liberation of CS2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PMID:
7703373
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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