Author(s): Wolff SP, Dean RT
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Abstract Defined radical species generated radiolytically were allowed to attack proteins in solution. The hydroxyl radical (OH.) in the presence of O2 degraded bovine serum albumin (BSA) to specific fragments detectable by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis; fragmentation was not obvious when the products were analysed by h.p.l.c. In the absence of O2 the OH. cross-linked the protein with bonds stable to SDS and reducing conditions. The superoxide (O2-.) and hydroperoxyl (HO2.) radicals were virtually inactive in these respects, as were several other peroxyl radicals. Fragmentation and cross-linking could also be observed when a mixture of biosynthetically labelled cellular proteins was used as substrate. Carbonyl and amino groups were generated during the reaction of OH. with BSA in the presence of O2. Changes in fluorescence during OH. attack in the absence of O2 revealed both loss of tryptophan and changes in conformation during OH. attack in the presence of O2. Increased susceptibility to enzymic proteolysis was observed when BSA was attacked by most radical systems, with the sole exception of O2-.. The transition-metal cations Cu2+ and Fe3+, in the presence of H2O2, could also fragment BSA. The reactions were inhibited by EDTA, or by desferal and diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid ('DETAPAC') respectively. The increased susceptibility to enzymic hydrolysis of radical-damaged proteins may have biological significance.
This article was published in Biochem J
and referenced in Journal of Hypertension: Open Access