The regulation of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase by copper was investigated in human K562 cells. Copper ions caused a dose- and time-dependent increase, up to 3-fold, of the steady-state level of Cu,Zu-superoxide dismutase mRNA. A comparable increase was also observed for actin and ribosomal protein L32 mRNAs, but not for metallothionein mRNA which was augmented more than 50-fold and showed a different induction pattern. The copper-induced mRNAs were actively translated as judged from their enhanced loading on polysomes, the concomitantly increased cellular protein levels and an augmented incorporation of [3H]lysine into acid-precipitable material. Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase protein followed this general trend, as demonstrated by dose- and time-dependent increases in immunoreactive and enzymically active protein. However, a specific accumulation of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase was noticed in cells grown in the presence of copper, that was not detectable for other proteins. Purification of the enzyme demonstrated that Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase was present as a reconstitutable, copper-deficient protein with high specific activity (k(cat)/Cu = 0.89x 109 M-1̇ s-1) in untreated K562 cells and as a fully metallated protein with low specific activity (k(cat)/Cu=0.54x109 M-1̇s-1) in copper-treated cells. Pulse-chase experiments using [3H]lysine indicated that turnover rates of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase in K562 cells were not affected by growth in copper-enriched medium, whereas turnover of total protein was significantly enhanced as a function of metal supplementation. From these results we conclude that: (i) unlike in yeast. Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase is not specifically regulated by copper at the transcriptional level in human K562 cells, suggesting that this type of regulation has not been conserved during the evolution of higher eukaryotes; (ii) copper ions cause an inactivation of the enzyme in intact K562 cells; and (iii) the metabolic stability of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase results in its relative accumulation under conditions that lead to increased protein turnover.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
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