The Effects of Cadmium on Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Activity in Buffalo Rat Liver Cells
Nelson, Joshua N.
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During the past several years, the ability of certain elements to act in the capacity of insulin-mimetics in diabetic and other therapies has drawn significant interest. The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of toxic metals such as cadmium on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) so as to create a comparison with medicinal metals such as zinc. G6PDH acts as a rate-limiting enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway, a major pathway necessary for both carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism and maintenance of the redox state of the cell. For our purposes, a stable cell line of Buffalo Rat Liver (BRL) cells was treated with varying concentrations of cadmium. Endogenous G6PDH activity showed a slight increase at 1.0 µM [Cd2+], while G6PDH promoter activity showed almost a two-fold increase that surpassed the effects of insulin. These results indicate that cadmium, at certain levels, is capable of regulating G6PDH activity. However, the results do not conclude the method by which this regulation occurs.