Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.294, No.5, 1130-1137, 2002
Dysfunction of rat liver mitochondria by selenite: induction of mitochondrial permeability transition through thiol-oxidation
Selenium is an essential trace element in mammals and is thought to play a chemopreventive role in human cancer, possibly by inducing tumor cell apoptosis. Mitochondria play a pivotal role in the induction of apoptosis in many cell types. The effects of selenite on mitochondrial function were therefore investigated. Selenite induced the oxidation and cross-linking of protein thiol groups, mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential, and the release of cytochrome c in mitochondria isolated from rat liver. Induction of the MPT by selenite was prevented by cyclosporin A, EGTA, or N-ethylmaleimide. These results thus indicate that selenite induces the MPT as a result of direct modification of protein thiol groups, resulting in the release of cytochrome c and a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.