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

Apparent inhibition of superoxide dismutase activity in vitro by diesel exhaust particles.

The inhibitory effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) on superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were examined in vitro because intratracheal administration of DEP to mice resulted in a suppression of the pulmonary enzyme activity (Sagai et al., Free Radic. Biol. Med. 14:37-47; 1993). Superoxide production, based on the reduction of cytochrome c, was suppressed considerably by the soluble fraction of mouse lung and by purified SOD from bovine erythrocytes, but the suppression was drastically diminished in the presence of methanol-extractable compounds of DEP. Inhibition of SOD by diethyldithiocarbamate was irreversible, but that by 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ) and the methanol extract of DEP was removed by dialysis. Inhibition of superoxide mediated cytochrome c reduction by Tiron, a scavenging agent for superoxide, was blocked by the methanol extract and 1,2-NQ in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, addition of a large amount of SOD to the reaction mixture resulted in an almost complete disappearance of inhibitory action of not only 1,2-NQ but also the methanol extract. The existence of carbonyl compounds in the DEP was confirmed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine reagent. Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra of an incubation mixture of oxidized 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene in the absence and presence of cytochrome c indicated a reaction between the semiquinone radical of 1,2-NQ and cytochrome c. These results indicate that the apparent reduction in SOD activity by DEP is due to the chemical reaction of superoxide with components like quinones, which reduce levels of superoxide.[1]


  1. Apparent inhibition of superoxide dismutase activity in vitro by diesel exhaust particles. Kumagai, Y., Taira, J., Sagai, M. Free Radic. Biol. Med. (1995) [Pubmed]
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