Reaction of quinones with proteins: Kinetics of adduct formation, effects on enzymatic activity and protein structure, and potential reversibility of modifications

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Quinones are a common motif in many biological compounds, and have been linked to tissue damage as they can undergo redox cycling to generate radicals, and/or act as Michael acceptors with nucleophiles, such as protein Cys residues, with consequent adduct formation. The kinetics and consequences of these Michael reactions are poorly characterized. In this study we hypothesized that adduction of protein Cys residues with quinones would be rapid, structure-dependent, quantitatively-significant, and result in altered protein structure and function. Multiple quinones were incubated with glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), creatine kinase (CK), papain, bovine (BSA) and human (HSA) serum albumins, with the kinetics of adduction and effects on protein structure and activity determined. Adduction rate constants at Cys residues, which were dependent on the quinone and protein structure, and thiol pK(a), are in the range 10(2)-10(5)M(-1)s(-1). p-Benzoquinone (BQ) induced dimerization of GAPDH and CK (but not BSA, HSA, or papain) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Incubation of purified proteins, or cell lysates, with quinones resulted in a rapid loss of GAPDH and CK activity; this loss correlated well with the rate constant for Cys adduction. Glutathione (GSH) reacts competitively with quinones, and could reverse the loss of activity and dimerization of GAPDH and CK. Mass spectrometry peptide mass mapping provided evidence for BQ adduction to GAPDH to specific Cys residues (Cys149, Cys244), whereas all Cys residues in CK were modified. These data suggested that quinones can induce biological effects by rapid and selective formation of adducts with Cys residues in proteins.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Pages (from-to)169-180
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Quinone, Protein modification, Michael adduct, Kinetics, Dimerization

ID: 227697154