The hypolipidaemic agents ciprofibrate and Wy-14,643 ([4-chloro-6-(2,3-xylidino)-2-pyrimidinylthio]acetic acid) and the phthalate-ester plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP), like other peroxisome proliferators, produce a significant hepatomegaly and induce the peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation enzyme system together with profound proliferation of peroxisomes in hepatic parenchymal cells. Changes in the profile of liver proteins in rats following induction of peroxisome proliferation by ciprofibrate, Wy-14,643 and DEHP have been analysed by high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The proteins of whole liver homogenates from normal and peroxisome-proliferator-treated rats were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis using isoelectric focusing for acidic proteins and nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis for basic proteins. In the whole liver homogenates, the quantities of six proteins in acidic gels and six proteins in the basic gels increased following induction of peroxisome proliferation. Peroxisome proliferator administration caused a repression of three acidic proteins in the liver homogenates. By the immunoblot method using polyspecific antiserum against soluble peroxisomal proteins and monospecific antiserum against peroxisome proliferation associated Mr 80000 polypeptide (polypeptide PPA-80), the majority of basic proteins induced by these peroxisome proliferators appeared to be peroxisomal proteins. Polypeptide PPA-80 becomes the most abundant protein in the total liver homogenates of peroxisome-proliferator-treated rats. These results indicate that ciprofibrate, DEHP and Wy-14,643 induce marked changes in the profile of specific hepatic proteins and that some of these changes should serve as a baseline to identify a set of gene products that may assist in defining the specific ‘peroxisome proliferator domain’.

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