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

Formation of methyl radicals during the catalase-mediated oxidation of formaldehyde hydrazone.

It has been suggested that formaldehyde hydrazone, a condensation product of hydrazine with formaldehyde, plays an important role in hydrazine-promoted DNA methylation in vivo. The present study demonstrated by spin-trapping experiments with 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide and tert-nitrosobutane that catalase-mediated oxidation of formaldehyde hydrazone generates methyl radicals. Both the use of two spin-traps and parallel studies of oxygen consumption were important for excluding possible artefacts of spin-trapping experiments with tert-nitrosobutane. Hydrazine was also oxidized by catalase but only hydroxyl radicals were detected. Metabolic activation of formaldehyde hydrazone to methyl radicals may be of importance in regard to hydrazine-mediated toxicity and carcinogenicity.[1]


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