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Z Naturforsch C. 1979 May-Jun;34C(5-6):374-80.

Cyanide insensitive iron superoxide dismutase in Euglena gracilis. Comparison of the reliabilities of different test systems for superoxide dismutases.


Two proteins (P1 and P2, with weights of 57,500 and 27,500 respectively) were isolated from Euglena gracilis. Both proteins show cyanide-insensitive superoxide dismutase activity in the "classical" superoxide dismutase assay, using xanthine-xanthine oxidase as O2.- generator. If O2.- is generated chemically (autoxidation of reduced anthraquinone), photochemically (illuminated riboflavine) or pulse radiolytically, only protein P1 but not P2 shows SOD activity. Protein P1 contains 1 g atom (determined: 0.82) iron (no Mn or Cu) per mole protein and may thus be defined as iron-superoxide dismutase. Protein P2, showing the spectral properties of a flavoprotein, exhibits the activities of ferredoxin-NADP-oxidoreductase and "diaphorase". The cyanide-insensitive SOD-activity of this Diaphorase" in the xanthine oxidase-assay for superoxide dismutase makes this classical and commonly used test unreliable for assay cyanide insensitive SOD activities. The existence of the "prokaryote-type" of superoxide dismutase (Fe-SOD) in Euglena gracilis is exceptional for an eukaryotic, autotrophically grown organisms.

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