The role of the myeloperoxidase-derived oxidant hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN) in the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction in macrophages

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A host of chronic inflammatory diseases are accelerated by the formation of the powerful oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) by myeloperoxidase (MPO). In the presence of thiocyanate (SCN-), the production of HOCl by MPO is decreased in favour of the formation of a milder oxidant, hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN). The role of HOSCN in disease has not been fully elucidated, though there is increasing interest in using SCN- therapeutically in different disease settings. Unlike HOCl, HOSCN can be detoxified by thioredoxin reductase, and reacts selectively with thiols to result in reversible modifications, which could potentially reduce the extent of MPO-induced damage during chronic inflammation. In this study, we show that exposure of macrophages, a key inflammatory cell type, to HOSCN results in the reversible modification of multiple mitochondrial proteins, leading to increased mitochondrial membrane permeability, decreased oxidative phosphorylation and reduced formation of ATP. The increased permeability and reduction in ATP could be reversed by pre-treatment of the macrophages with cyclosporine A, implicating a role for the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. HOSCN also drives cells to utilise fatty acids as an energetic substrate after the inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation. Raman imaging studies highlighted the ability of HOSCN to perturb the electron transport chain of mitochondria and redistribute these organelles within the cell. Taken together, these data provide new insight into the pathways by which HOSCN can induce cytotoxicity and cellular damage, which may have relevance for the development of inflammatory disease, and therapeutic strategies to reduce HOCl-induced damage by supplementation with SCN-.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101602
JournalRedox Biology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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