Protection against oxidative injury and permeability alteration in cultured alveolar epithelium by transferrin-catalase conjugate

Yon Rojanasakul, Xianglin Shi, Deepa Deshpande, Wei Wen Liang, Li Ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The successful prevention of hydrogen peroxide-induced alveolar permeability alterations and cell injury by transferrin-catalase conjugate is described in this study. Permeability alterations and cell injury were induced in cultured alveolar epithelial monolayers by hydrogen peroxide. Transepithelial transport of a permeability marker, [14C]mannitol, and cellular nuclear fluorescence of a membrane integrity indicator, propidium iodide, were used to quantitate epithelial permeability and damage respectively. Hydrogen peroxide (0.1-10 mM) induced a dose-dependent increase in both alveolar permeability and cellular damage; however, the oxidant effect on monolayer permeability did not require prior cell damage. Electron spin resonance measurements using the spin trap 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide indicated the formation of hydroxyl radicals in hydrogen peroxide-treated cells. Chelation of the cellular pool of iron by deferoxamine inhibited radical formation and helped protect the cells from oxidative changes. Prior treatment of the cells with catalase (0.1 U-10 U/ml) had minimal protective effects on cell injury and permeability alterations. In contrast, transferrin-catalase conjugate, at the same concentration range, exhibited much improved protective effects on the cells in response to oxidant stress. This enhanced protection was found to correlate well with an increase in cellular uptake of the enzyme conjugate via the transferrin receptor endocytosis pathway. Effective protection by the enzyme conjugate was shown to require both the antioxidant enzyme moiety and the cognate moiety for the cell surface receptor. These findings indicate the potential therapeutic merit of transferrin-catalase conjugate for the treatment of pathological processes in the lung, whenever oxidative stress is involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 1996


  • Alveolar damage
  • Catalase
  • Endocytosis
  • Oxidant
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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