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

Effect of beta-lapachone on superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide production in Trypanosoma cruzi.

Addition of beta-lapachone, an o-naphthoquinone endowed with trypanocidal properties to respiring Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes induced the release of O2- and H2O2 from the whole cells to the suspending medium. The same beta-lapachone concentration (4 micron) that released H2O2 at maximal rate completely inhibited T. cruzi growth in a liquid medium. The position isomer, alpha-lapachone, did not stimulate O2- and H2O2 release, and did not inhibit epimastigote growth. beta-Lapachone was able to stimulate H2O2 production by the epimastigote homogenate in the presence of NADH as reductant. The same effect was observed with the mitochondrial fraction supplemented with NADH, where beta-lapachone enhanced the generation of O2- and H2O2 4.5- and 2.5-fold respectively. beta-Lapachone also increased O2- and H2O2 production (2.5 and 2-fold respectively) by the microsomal fraction with NADPH as reductant. Cyanide-insensitive NADH and NADPH oxidation by the mitochondrial and microsomal fractions (quinone reductase activity) was stimulated to about the same extent by beta-lapachone. alpha-Lapachone was unable to increase O2- and H2O2 production and quinone reductase activity of the mitochondrial and microsomal fractions.[1]


  1. Effect of beta-lapachone on superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide production in Trypanosoma cruzi. Boveris, A., Docampo, R., Turrens, J.F., Stoppani, A.O. Biochem. J. (1978) [Pubmed]
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