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Embryonic lethality and liver degeneration in mice lacking the metal-responsive transcriptional activator MTF-1.


Günes, C; Heuchel, R; Georgiev, O; Müller, K H; Lichtlen, P; Blüthmann, H; Marino, S; Aguzzi, A; Schaffner, W (1998). Embryonic lethality and liver degeneration in mice lacking the metal-responsive transcriptional activator MTF-1. The EMBO Journal, 17(10):2846-2854.

Abstract

We have shown previously that the heavy metal-responsive transcriptional activator MTF-1 regulates the basal and heavy metal-induced expression of metallothioneins. To investigate the physiological function of MTF-1, we generated null mutant mice by targeted gene disruption. Embryos lacking MTF-1 die in utero at approximately day 14 of gestation. They show impaired development of hepatocytes and, at later stages, liver decay and generalized edema. MTF-1(-/-) embryos fail to transcribe metallothionein I and II genes, and also show diminished transcripts of the gene which encodes the heavy-chain subunit of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, a key enzyme for glutathione biosynthesis. Metallothionein and glutathione are involved in heavy metal homeostasis and detoxification processes, such as scavenging reactive oxygen intermediates. Accordingly, primary mouse embryo fibroblasts lacking MTF-1 show increased susceptibility to the cytotoxic effects of cadmium or hydrogen peroxide. Thus, MTF-1 may help to control metal homeostasis and probably cellular redox state, especially during liver development. We also note that the MTF-1 null mutant phenotype bears some similarity to those of two other regulators of cellular stress response, namely c-Jun and NF-kappaB (p65/RelA).

We have shown previously that the heavy metal-responsive transcriptional activator MTF-1 regulates the basal and heavy metal-induced expression of metallothioneins. To investigate the physiological function of MTF-1, we generated null mutant mice by targeted gene disruption. Embryos lacking MTF-1 die in utero at approximately day 14 of gestation. They show impaired development of hepatocytes and, at later stages, liver decay and generalized edema. MTF-1(-/-) embryos fail to transcribe metallothionein I and II genes, and also show diminished transcripts of the gene which encodes the heavy-chain subunit of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, a key enzyme for glutathione biosynthesis. Metallothionein and glutathione are involved in heavy metal homeostasis and detoxification processes, such as scavenging reactive oxygen intermediates. Accordingly, primary mouse embryo fibroblasts lacking MTF-1 show increased susceptibility to the cytotoxic effects of cadmium or hydrogen peroxide. Thus, MTF-1 may help to control metal homeostasis and probably cellular redox state, especially during liver development. We also note that the MTF-1 null mutant phenotype bears some similarity to those of two other regulators of cellular stress response, namely c-Jun and NF-kappaB (p65/RelA).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:15 May 1998
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:20
Publisher:European Molecular Biology Organization ; Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0261-4189
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/emboj/17.10.2846
PubMed ID:9582278
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-1827

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