Modifications induced by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus on human placental Na+/K+-adenosine triphosphatase

Giovanna Zolese, Rosa A. Rabini, Paolo Fumelli, Roberto Staffolani, Angelo Curatola, Peter Kvasnicka, Arnost Kotyk, Nelvio Cester, Laura Mazzanti

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The causes of the reduced activity of Na+/K+-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) in human diabetes are still the object of controversy. The aim of this work was to investigate the mechanisms of inhibition by means of the study of the Na+/K+-ATPase purified from human placenta. We purified Na+/K+-ATPase from term placentas of six healthy women and six age-matched women with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in good metabolic control. The enzymatic activity was reduced in both the microsomal fraction and the purified Na+/K+-ATPase obtained from diabetic women, whereas no difference was found in the number of active molecules determined by anthroyl ouabain binding. The Na+/K+-ATPase purified from women with IDDM did not show any modification in the ouabain affinity or changes in the physicochemical structure of the ouabain binding site investigated by dynamic fluorescence or alterations in lateral diffusion. The activation energy of the enzyme was increased, whereas the tryptophan accessibility of the enzyme was lower in women with IDDM. The fluidity of the lipid anulus of the enzyme was higher in women with IDDM than in control women, as suggested by fluorescence polarization of 1-(4-trimethylaminophenyl)-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene. The adenosine triphosphate-binding site, investigated by anisotropy decay studies of the fluorescent probe pyrene isothiocyanate, was modified in women with IDDM. It appears that the Na+/K+-ATPase of human placenta is altered in its disposition in IDDM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-380
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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