Hydroxyl Radical Generation During Mitochondrial Electron-Transfer and the Formation of 8-Hydroxydesoxyguanosine in Mitochondrial-DNA

Cecilia R Giulivi, A. Boveris, E. Cadenas

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156 Scopus citations


Production of hydroxyl radicals (HO.) by substrate-supplemented beef heart submitochondrial particles was studied by electron paramagnetic resonance in conjunction with the spin trap 5,5′-dimethyl-1-pirroline-N-oxide (DMPO). Supplementation of submitochondrial particles with NADH or succinate in the presence of antimycin resulted in the formation hydroxyl-, α-hydroxyethyl-, and methyl radical adducts. The latter two adducts were derived from HO. attack of ethanol or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), respectively, the solvents used for the inhibitors of the respiratory chain. These ESR signals were slightly increased by superoxide dismutase and abolished by catalase. Further support for the production of HO. during mitochondrial electron transfer was furnished by kinetic competition experiments with DMSO as the HO. scavenger. This approach yielded a kSCAVENGER/kDMPO value of 1.7, in agreement with a competitive spin trapping of free HO. using DMSO as a scavenger. The scission of H2O2 to HO. requires consideration of a Fenton chemistry, i,e., the participation of metals or redox active metal pools in mitochondria to drive this reaction, The effect of several metal chelators on the formation of both HO. and H2O2 was examined. Bathophenantroline, bathocuproine, and desferrioxamine decreased the DMPO-HO. signal and increased accumulation of H2O2. Conversely, EDTA or diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid substantially increased the DMPO-HO. signal intensity and decreased H2O2 accumulation. These different results were rationalized in terms of the reduction potential of the redox couples involved, i,e., that of the ligated metal and those encompassed in the one-electron reduction of superoxide radical and of hydrogen peroxide. The formation of 8-hydroxydesoxyguanosine in mitochondrial DNA was examined under experimental conditions in which H2O2 production by isolated mitochondria was enhanced. The formation of 8-hydroxydesoxyguanosine increased with increasing rates of H2O2 formation. The biological significance of H2O2 and HO. formation during mitochondrial electron transfer is discussed in terms of oxidative damage of mitochondrial DNA and the implications for mitochondrial functions and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-916
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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