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Four mammalian metallothioneins (MT), rabbit liver MT (RL MT), rabbit liver MT-1 (RL MT-1) and rabbit liver MT-2 (RL MT-2) and horse kidney MT (HK MT), were subjected to capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) with on-line diode array detection (DAD) by using tris-borate buffer at neutral or nearly neutral conditions, thus giving information about the putative isoforms in conditions also found in tissues. The MTs were found to exhibit a different polymorphism. Rabbit liver MT exhibited 3 main peaks and horse kidney 5 main peaks. Isoform abundance between batches was found to vary noticeably. Differences in electrophoretic behaviour were observed. Interestingly, horse kidney MT exhibited peaks with lower electrophoretic mobilities and different behaviour than the other peaks observed. The ultra violet (UV) spectra obtained by using DAD showed a clear difference in the structure of these peaks compared to other peaks observed. These peaks showed no (or nearly no) absorbency at wavelengths 225 nm and 250 nm which correspond to cation-thiol bondage, Zn-thiol and Cd-thiol, respectively. We can therefore assume, that the horse kidney MT sample contains components that are in apothionein form, or only partially saturated with metals. The use of DAD appears to be a good tool for a quick identification of apothioneins and partially metal-saturated metallothioneins.

Additional information

Authors: VIRTANEN V, JRC Geel (BE);BORDIN G, JRC Geel (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Liquid Chromatography (1998)
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