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

Inactivation of red cell glutathione peroxidase by divicine and its relation to the hemolysis of favism.

A significant inactivation of red blood cell glutathione peroxidase (25% less than the physiological value) was observed after exposure of intact erythrocytes to 2 mM divicine (an autoxidizable aminophenol from Vicia faba seeds) and 2 mM ascorbate for 3 h at 37 degrees C. Addition of catalase and conversion of Hb to the carbomonoxy derivative resulted in protection against enzyme inactivation. Oxidation of Hb was a concurrent phenomenon, and augmented the inactivating effect. In hemolysates, much stronger effects were observed at shorter times (2 h); divicine was effective also without ascorbate, and the presence of reductants (ascorbate or glutathione or NADPH) enhanced its inactivating power. Of the other antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase was unaffected under the same experimental conditions. Catalase was found to be much less sensitive to the inactivation; it was almost unaffected in experiments with intact erythrocytes and specifically protected by NADPH in experiments with hemolysates. This specific damage of glutathione peroxidase, apparently involving interaction of H2O2 and HbO2, may be related to the pathogenesis of hemolysis in favism.[1]


  1. Inactivation of red cell glutathione peroxidase by divicine and its relation to the hemolysis of favism. Mavelli, I., Ciriolo, M.R., Rotilio, G. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1985) [Pubmed]
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