Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition
Online ISSN : 1880-5086
Print ISSN : 0912-0009
ISSN-L : 0912-0009
Reduction of molecular oxygen by redox active thiols: comparison of glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, cysteine, and homocysteine
Minako NyuiYoshimi ShojiMegumi UenoIkuo NakanishiKen-ichiro Matsumoto
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JOURNAL FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 19-25


The reaction properties of the thiol compounds, cysteine (Cys), N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), the reduced form glutathione (GSH), and homocysteine (HCS) were compared. The main purpose of this study was to find a thiol-based anti-oxidant suitable for biological experiments and to provide clear reasoning for its selection. The availability of thiol compounds to generate superoxide by reducing molecular oxygen (O2) at a hyperthermal temperature was discussed. An oxidative atmosphere, i.e., superoxide generation by the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase reaction, hydroxyl radical generation by X-ray irradiation, or direct one-electron oxidation by ferricyanide, was prepared in a reaction mixture containing 0.1 mM TEMPOL and 1 mM test compound, and the EPR signal decay of TEMPOL was observed. A reaction mixture containing 0.1 mM TEMPOL and 1 mM thiol compound was incubated at 44°C, and the EPR signal decay of TEMPOL was observed. Thiols could function as H-donors to the oxoammonium cation and produce the hydroxylamine form of TEMPOL in an oxidative atmosphere. Thiols could also irreversibly react with the oxoammonium cation. GSH and Cys could reduce O2 to form superoxide/hydroperoxyl radical at hyperthermal temperatures, but HCS and NAC could not reduce O2. GSH and Cys may cause reductive stress, whereas NAC is a simple tractable antioxidant.

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