A metabolic link between arsenite and selenite: The seleno-bis(S- glutathionyl) arsinium ion

Jürgen Gailer, Graham N. George, Ingrid J. Pickering, Roger C. Prince, Steven C. Ringwald, Jeanne E. Pemberton, Richard S. Glass, Husam S. Younis, Donald W. DeYoung, H. Vasken Aposhian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Among the most startling observations in mammalian toxicology is that a lethal dose of selenium can be overcome by an otherwise lethal dose of arsenic. We report the molecular basis of this antagonism. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy we have identified a new arsenic-selenium compound in the bile of rabbits injected with aqueous selenite and arsenite solutions. This compound contains equimolar arsenic and selenium and exhibits X-ray absorption spectra which are essentially identical with those of a synthetic species in solution which we have identified spectroscopically as the seleno- bis(S-glutathionyl) arsinium ion. The in vivo detection of this compound links the mammalian metabolism of arsenite, selenite, and sulfur. It provides a molecular basis for the antagonistic interaction between these metalloid compounds, and a potential explanation of the association of cancer with prolonged intake of inorganic arsenic in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4637-4639
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume122
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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    Gailer, J., George, G. N., Pickering, I. J., Prince, R. C., Ringwald, S. C., Pemberton, J. E., Glass, R. S., Younis, H. S., DeYoung, D. W., & Aposhian, H. V. (2000). A metabolic link between arsenite and selenite: The seleno-bis(S- glutathionyl) arsinium ion. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 122(19), 4637-4639. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja993064m