Integrated Redox Proteomics and Metabolomics of Mitochondria to Identify Mechanisms of Cd Toxicity

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Cadmium (Cd) exposure contributes to human diseases affecting liver, kidney, lung, and other organ systems, but mechanisms underlying the pleotropic nature of these toxicities are poorly understood. Cd accumulates in humans from dietary, environmental (including cigarette smoke), and occupational sources, and has a twenty-year biologic half-life. Our previous mouse and cell studies showed that environmental low-dose Cd exposure altered protein redox states resulting in stimulation of inflammatory signaling and disruption of the actin cytoskeleton system, suggesting that Cd could impact multiple mechanisms of disease. In the current study, we investigated the effects of acute Cd exposure on the redox proteome and metabolome of mouse liver mitochondria to gain insight into associated toxicological mechanisms and functions. We analyzed redox states of liver mitochondrial proteins by redox proteomics using isotope coded affinity tag (ICAT) combined mass spectrometry. Redox ICAT identified 2687 cysteine-containing peptides (peptidyl Cys) of which 1667 peptidyl Cys (657 proteins) were detected in both control and Cd-exposed samples. Of these, 46% (1247 peptidyl Cys, 547 proteins) were oxidized by Cd more than 1.5-fold relative to controls. Bioinformatics analysis using MetaCore software showed that Cd affected 86 pathways, including 24 Cys in proteins functioning in branched chain amino acid (BCAA) and 14 Cys in proteins functioning in fatty acid (acylcarnitine/carnitine) metabolism. Consistently, high-resolution metabolomics data showed that Cd treatment altered levels of BCAA and carnitine metabolites. Together, these results show that mitochondrial protein redox and metabolites are targets in Cd-induced hepatotoxicity. The results further indicate that redox proteomics and metabolomics can be used in an integrated systems approach to investigate complex disease mechanisms.

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