• Journal Article

Oxidative modification of hepatic mitochondria protein thiols: effect of chronic alcohol consumption


Venkatraman, A., Landar, A., Davis, A. J., Ulasova, E., Page, G., Murphy, M. P., ... Bailey, S. M. (2004). Oxidative modification of hepatic mitochondria protein thiols: effect of chronic alcohol consumption. American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 286(4), G521-G527.


Redox modification of mitochondrial proteins is thought to play a key role in regulating cellular function, although direct evidence to support this hypothesis is limited. Using an in vivo model of mitochondrial redox stress, ethanol hepatotoxicity, the modification of mitochondrial protein thiols was examined using a proteomics approach. Specific labeling of reduced thiols in the mitochondrion from the livers of control and ethanol-fed rats was achieved by using the thiol reactive compound (4-iodobutyl)triphenylphosphonium (IBTP). This molecule selectively accumulates in the organelle and can be used to identify thiol-containing proteins. Mitochondrial proteins that have been modified are identified by decreased labeling with IBTP using two-dimensional SDS-PAGE followed by immunoblotting with an antibody directed against the triphenylphosphonium moiety of the IBTP molecule. Analyses of these data showed a significant decrease in IBTP labeling of thiols present in specific mitochondria matrix proteins from ethanol-fed rats compared with their corresponding controls. These proteins were identified as the low-Km aldehyde dehydrogenase and glucose-regulated protein 78. The decrease in IBTP labeling in aldehyde dehydrogenase was accompanied by a decrease in specific activity of the enzyme. These data demonstrate that mitochondrial protein thiol modification is associated with chronic alcohol intake and might contribute to the pathophysiology associated with hepatic injury. Taken together, we have developed a protocol to chemically tag and select thiol-modified proteins that will greatly enhance efforts to establish posttranslational redox modification of mitochondrial protein in in vivo models of oxidative or nitrosative stress.