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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparative time-courses of copper-ion-mediated protein and lipid oxidation in low-density lipoprotein.

Free radicals damage both lipids and proteins and evidence has accumulated for the presence of both oxidised lipids and proteins in aged tissue samples as well as those from a variety of pathologies including atherosclerosis, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. Oxidation of the protein and lipid moieties of low-density lipoprotein is of particular interest due to its potential role in the unregulated uptake of lipids and cholesterol by macrophages; this may contribute to the initial stage of foam cell formation in atherosclerosis. In the study reported here, we examined the comparative time-courses of lipid and protein oxidation during copper-ion-mediated oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. We show that there is an early, lipid-mediated loss of 40-50% of the Trp residues of the apoB100 protein. There is no comparable loss over an identical period during the copper-ion-mediated oxidation of lipid-free BSA. Concomitant with Trp loss, the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol is consumed with subsequent extensive lipid peroxidation. Further changes to the protein, including the copper-ion-dependent 3.5-fold increase in 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and the copper-ion-independent 3-5-fold increase in o-tyrosine, oxidation products of Tyr and Phe, respectively, only occur after maximal lipid peroxidation. Long incubation periods result in depletion of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, presumably reflecting further oxidative changes. Overall, copper-ion-mediated oxidation of LDL appears to proceed initially by lipid radical-dependent processes, even though some of the earliest detectable changes occur on the apoB100 protein. This is followed by extensive lipid peroxidation and subsequent additional oxidation of aromatic residues on apoB100, though it is not yet clear whether this late protein oxidation is lipid-dependent or occurs as a result of direct radical attack.[1]


  1. Comparative time-courses of copper-ion-mediated protein and lipid oxidation in low-density lipoprotein. Knott, H.M., Baoutina, A., Davies, M.J., Dean, R.T. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (2002) [Pubmed]
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