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J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 15;286(15):12901-11. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.172460. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

Urate as a physiological substrate for myeloperoxidase: implications for hyperuricemia and inflammation.

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  • 1Free Radical Research Group, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, P. O. Box 4345, 8140 Christchurch, New Zealand.


Urate and myeloperoxidase (MPO) are associated with adverse outcomes in cardiovascular disease. In this study, we assessed whether urate is a likely physiological substrate for MPO and if the products of their interaction have the potential to exacerbate inflammation. Urate was readily oxidized by MPO and hydrogen peroxide to 5-hydroxyisourate, which decayed to predominantly allantoin. The redox intermediates of MPO were reduced by urate with rate constants of 4.6 × 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) for compound I and 1.7 × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1) for compound II. Urate competed with chloride for oxidation by MPO and at hyperuricemic levels is expected to be a substantive substrate for the enzyme. Oxidation of urate promoted super-stoichiometric consumption of glutathione, which indicates that it is converted to a free radical intermediate. In combination with superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, MPO oxidized urate to a reactive hydroperoxide. This would form by addition of superoxide to the urate radical. Urate also enhanced MPO-dependent consumption of nitric oxide. In human plasma, stimulated neutrophils produced allantoin in a reaction dependent on the NADPH oxidase, MPO and superoxide. We propose that urate is a physiological substrate for MPO that is oxidized to the urate radical. The reactions of this radical with superoxide and nitric oxide provide a plausible link between urate and MPO in cardiovascular disease.

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