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J. Wu, M. Jin, S. He, R. Kannan, S.J. Ryan, D.R. Hinton; Regulation of Metallothionein Gene Expression by Oxidative Stress and HGF . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):1627.
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Purpose: Metallothioneins (MT) are a group of ubiquitous low-molecular-weight proteins that provide cellular protection from reactive forms of oxygen and other stress conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of oxidative stress on metallothionein-1 mRNA expression in human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) and how this effect is modulated by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Methods: Confluent RPE cells were treated with 100µM tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBH) for 1 and 5 hours. Identical treatments were performed on confluent cells pretreated with 20ng/ml HGF for 24 hrs. Relative MT-1 mRNA expression was measured by using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: The addition of tBH increased the MT expression in RPE cells by 2-fold and 8-fold with 1 hour and 5 hours treatment, respectively. When cells were pretreated with HGF, tBH did not increase MT expression by 1 hour. However, in the presence of HGF, MT expression was magnified to 16-fold with 5 hours tBH treatment. Conclusions: The stimulation of MT gene expression by oxidant stress may represent an important response to protect RPE from oxidant injury. HGF may promote the protective effect by amplifying this response.
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