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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1999 Dec 15;372(2):285-94.

Uric acid oxidation by peroxynitrite: multiple reactions, free radical formation, and amplification of lipid oxidation.

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  • 1Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Cx P. 26077, 05599-970, Brazil.


Uric acid has been considered to be an efficient scavenger of peroxynitrite but the reaction between urate and peroxynitrite has been only partially characterized. Also, previous studies have indicated that urate may increase peroxynitrite-mediated oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL). Here, we examined the reaction between urate and peroxynitrite by combining kinetic, oxygen consumption, spin trapping, and product identification studies; in parallel, we tested the effect of urate upon peroxynitrite-mediated lipid oxidation. Our results demonstrated that urate reacts with peroxynitrite with an apparent second order rate constant of 4.8 x 10(2) M(-1). s(-1) in a complex process, which is accompanied by oxygen consumption and formation of allantoin, alloxan, and urate-derived radicals. The main radical was identified as the aminocarbonyl radical by the electrospray mass spectra of its 5, 5-dimethyl-l-pyrroline N-oxide adduct. Mechanistic studies suggested that urate reacts with peroxynitrous acid and with the radicals generated from its decomposition to form products that can further react with peroxynitrite anion. These many reactions may explain the reported efficiency of urate in inhibiting some peroxynitrite-mediated processes. Production of the aminocarbonyl radical, however, may propagate oxidative reactions. We demonstrated that this radical is likely to be the species responsible for the effects of urate in amplifying peroxynitrite-mediated oxidation of liposomes and LDL, which was monitored by the formation of lipid peroxides and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. The aminocarbonyl radical was not detectable during urate attack by other oxidants and consequently it is unlikely to be responsible for all previously described prooxidant effects of uric acid.

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