Metallothionein-3 is a component of a multiprotein complex in the mouse brain

I. El Ghazi, B. L. Martin, I. M. Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Metallothionein (MT)-3, originally called growth inhibitory factor (GIF), was initially identified through its ability to inhibit the growth of neuronal cells in the presence of brain extract. MT-3 is the brain specific isoform of the MT family whose specific biological activity associates it with neurological disorders. Indeed, studies report that MT-3 is decreased by ∼30% in brains of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD). Furthermore, many lines of evidence suggest that MT-3 engages in specific protein interactions. To address this, we conducted immunoaffinity chromatography experiments using an immobilized anti-mouse MT-3 antibody. We identified five associated proteins from the pool of sixteen recovered using mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry after in-gel trypsin digestion of bands from the affinity chromatography. The proteins identified were: heat shock protein 84 (HSP84), heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), dihydropyrimidinase-like protein-2 (DRP-2), creatine kinase (CK) and β-actin. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments, also conducted on whole mouse brain extract using the anti-mouse MT-3 antibody along with commercially available antibodies against HSP84 and CK, confirmed that these three proteins were in a single protein complex. Immunohistochemical experiments were then conducted on the perfused mouse brain that confirmed the in situ colocalization of CK and MT-3 in the hippocampus region. These data provide new insights into the involvement of MT-3 in a multiprotein complex, which will be used to understand the biological activity of MT-3 and its role in neurological disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1506
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Immunoaffinity chromatography
  • Metallothionein-3
  • Multiprotein complex

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