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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Mar 7;302(2):397-402.

Inhibition of peroxynitrite-mediated cellular toxicity, tyrosine nitration, and alpha1-antiproteinase inactivation by 3-mercapto-2-methylpentan-1-ol, a novel compound isolated from Allium cepa.

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  • 1Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Peroxynitrite formation in vivo is implicated in numerous human diseases and there is considerable interest in the use of antioxidants and natural products such as thiols as "peroxynitrite scavengers". We therefore investigated the effects of a recently identified constituent of onions, 3-mercapto-2-methylpentan-1-ol (3-MP), for its ability to inhibit peroxynitrite-mediated processes in vitro and using cultured human cells and compared its effectiveness against glutathione. 3-MP significantly inhibited peroxynitrite-mediated tyrosine nitration and inactivation of alpha(1)-antiproteinase to a greater extent than glutathione at each concentration tested (15-500 microM). 3-MP also inhibited peroxynitrite-induced cytotoxicity, intracellular tyrosine nitration, and intracellular reactive oxygen species generation in human HepG2 cells in culture to a greater extent than glutathione. These data suggest that 3-MP has the potential to act as an inhibitor of ONOO(-)-mediated processes in vivo and that the antioxidant action of 3-MP deserves further study.

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