Hypochlorite-induced damage to proteins: formation of nitrogen-centred radicals from lysine residues and their role in protein fragmentation

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Stimulated monocytes and neutrophils generate hypochlorite (HOCl) via the release of the enzyme myeloperoxidase and hydrogen peroxide. HOCl damages proteins by reaction with amino acid side-chains or backbone cleavage. Little information is available about the mechanisms and intermediates involved in these reactions. EPR spin trapping has been employed to identify radicals on proteins, peptides and amino acids after treatment with HOCl. Reaction with HOCl gives both high- and low-molecular-mass nitrogen-centred, protein-derived radicals; the yield of the latter increases with both higher HOCl:protein ratios and enzymic digestion. These radicals, which arise from lysine side-chain amino groups, react with ascorbate, glutathione and Trolox. Reaction of HOCl-treated proteins with excess methionine eliminates radical formation, which is consistent with lysine-derived chloramines (via homolysis of N-Cl bonds) being the radical source. Incubation of HOCl-treated proteins, after removal of excess oxidant, gives rise to both nitrogen-centred radicals, over a period of hours, and time-dependent fragmentation of the protein. Treatment with excess methionine or antioxidants (Trolox, ascorbate, glutathione) protects against fragmentation; urate and bilirubin do not. Chloramine formation and nitrogen-centred radicals are therefore key species in HOCl-induced protein fragmentation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume332 ( Pt 3)
Pages (from-to)617-25
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1998

    Research areas

  • Amino Acids, Animals, Antioxidants, Cattle, Chloramines, Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Free Radicals, Humans, Hypochlorous Acid, Lysine, Oligopeptides, Proteins, Serum Albumin, Spin Trapping, Time Factors

ID: 138284414