We have previously observed (summarized in BioFactors 17 (2003) 61) that pantothenic acid, pantothenol and other derivatives that are precursors of CoA protect cells and whole organs against peroxidative damage by increasing the content of cell glutathione. The present investigation was aimed to elucidate the mechanism of this increase in human lymphoblastoic (Jurkat) cells. It showed that incubation of the cells with pantothenic acid or pantothenol increased mainly the content of free glutathione, with little effect on protein-bound glutathione. Buthionine sulfoximine, an inhibitor of glutathione synthesis, prevented this increase. Increase of the content of free glutathione, as produced by pantothenic acid or pantothenol, was largely prevented by respiratory chain inhibitor rotenone, inhibitor of mitochondrial ATP synthesis oligomycin and uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation of carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone. These treatments also decreased the cellular content of ATP. Preincubation with pantothenic acid or pantothenol also increased cell respiration with pyruvate as the exogenous substrate. Although no significant increase of total cell CoA content could be found, it is concluded that the increase of the glutathione level was due to increased production of ATP that was, in turn, a result of the increased content of mitochondrial CoA. © 2004 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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