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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1983 Jul 15;224(2):579-86.

Hydroperoxide anion, HO-2, is an affinity reagent for the inactivation of yeast Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase: modification of one histidine per subunit.


Yeast Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase is inactivated by H2O2 at alkaline pH, and complete inactivation correlates with the modification of 1.0 histidine per subunit. At elevated concentrations of H2O2, a saturation process is evident and is characterized by kmax, the maximum pseudo-first-order rate constant for inactivation, and Kinact, the total hydrogen peroxide concentration at which the enzyme is half-saturated. In the pH range from 9.0 to 11.5 at 25 degrees C, kmax remains constant at 0.54 +/- 0.03 min-1, but Kinact decreases progressively with increasing pH, from 15.5 mM at pH 9.0 to 1.11 mM at pH 11.5. It is proposed that the reason for the observed increased affinity with increasing pH is that the reactive species is not H2O2 per se, but rather the HO-2 anion (the pKa for H2O2 is 11.6). An increase in pH would thus lead to an increased concentration of HO-2 at a fixed total peroxide concentration, and saturation would occur at a lower total peroxide concentration. By analogy with other anions, it is proposed that HO-2 coordinates directly to the Cu ion to form the reactive complex. Once the enzyme-peroxide complex is formed, however, the rate-determining step leading to modification of histidine and loss of activity is independent of pH between 9.0 and 11.5.

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