The balance between Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase and catalase affects the sensitivity of mouse epidermal cells to oxidative stress

Biochemistry. 1991 Sep 24;30(38):9305-13. doi: 10.1021/bi00102a024.


Oxidants are toxic, but at low doses they can stimulate rather than inhibit the growth of mammalian cells and play a role in the etiology of cancer and fibrosis. The effect of oxidants on cells is modulated by multiple interacting antioxidant defense systems. We have studied the individual roles and the interaction of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in transfectants with human cDNAs of mouse epidermal cells JB6 clone 41. Since only moderate increases in these enzymes are physiologically meaningful, we chose the following five clones for in-depth characterization: CAT 4 and CAT 12 with 2.6-fold and 4.2-fold increased catalase activities, respectively, SOD 15 and SOD 3 with 2.3-fold and 3.6-fold increased Cu,Zn-SOD activities, respectively, and SOCAT 3 with a 3-fold higher catalase activity and 1.7-fold higher Cu,Zn-SOD activity than the parent JB6 clone 41. While the increases in enzyme activities were moderate, the human cDNAs were highly expressed in the transfectants. As demonstrated for the clone SOD 15, this discordance between message concentrations and enzyme activities may be due to the low stability of the human Cu,Zn-SOD mRNA in the mouse recipient cells. According to immunoblots the content of Mn-SOD was unaltered in the transfectants. While the activities of glutathione peroxidase were comparable in all strains, the concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) were significantly lower in SOD 3 and SOD 15. This decrease in GSH may reflect a chronic prooxidant state in these Cu,Zn-SOD overproducers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Catalase / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Damage
  • Epidermis / physiology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Mice
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / toxicity*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / toxicity
  • Transfection


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Superoxides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Oxygen