Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2008;22(3):248-55. Epub 2008 Jul 18. [Link]

Hasegawa S, Koshikawa M, Takahashi I, Hachiya M, Furukawa T, Akashi M, Yoshida S, Saga T.

Diagnostic Imaging Group, Molecular Imaging Center, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8555, Japan.


Background and Aim: Molecular diagnostics and therapeutics of human mesothelioma using disease-related markers present major challenges in clinical practice. To identify biochemical alternations that would be markers of human mesothelioma, we measured the intracellular steady-state levels of biologically important trace metals such as manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in a human mesothelial cell line, MeT-5A, and in five human mesothelioma cell lines (MSTO-211H, NCI-H226, NCI-H2052, NCI-H2452, ACC-MESO-1) by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). We also aimed to investigate whether the alterations were related to the intracellular status of metal-containing superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Results: There were no significant differences in the contents of the trace metals among MeT-5A, MSTO-211H, and ACC-MESO-1 cells. However, each of the other three mesothelioma cell lines had a unique characteristic in terms of the intracellular amounts of the metals; NCI-H226
contained an extremely high level of Mn, an amount 7.3-fold higher than that in MeT-5A. NCI-H2052 had significantly higher amounts of Cu (3.4-fold) and Zn (1.3-fold) compared with MeT-5A. NCI-H2452 contained about 5.8-fold the amount of Cu and 2.5-fold that of Mn compared with MeT-5A. As for the intracellular levels of copper/zinc-SOD (Cu/Zn-SOD) and manganese-SOD (Mn-SOD), those of Cu/Zn-SOD were relatively unchanged among the cells tested, and no notable correlation with Cu or Zn contents was observed. On the other hand, all mesothelioma cells highly expressed Mn-SOD compared with MeT-5A, and a very high expression of the enzyme with a robust activity was observed in the two mesothelioma cells (NCI-H226, NCI-H2452) containing a large amount of Mn.

Conclusions: In comparison with MeT-5A human mesothelial cells, some human mesothelioma cells had significantly higher amounts of Mn or Cu and one mesothelioma cell had a significantly higher amount of Zn. Interestingly, all mesothelioma cells overexpressed Mn-SOD compared with MeT-5A, and the cells whose Mn-SOD activity was increased contained higher amounts of Mn. It seemed that intracellular Mn content was positively correlated with Mn-SOD, suggesting that the intracellular Mn level is associated with Mn-SOD activity. These biochemical signatures could be potential disease-related markers of mesothelioma.

Keywords: Mesothelioma; Trace element; Superoxide dismutase