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Brain Res. 2006 Jun 6;1093(1):71-82. Epub 2006 May 18.

Oxidation and cytotoxicity of 6-OHDA are mediated by reactive intermediates of COX-2 overexpressed in PC12 cells.

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Center for Free Radical and Antioxidant Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


Parkinson's disease is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons, likely associated with dysregulation of oxidation of catechols, such as dopamine (DA) and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), and resulting in oxidative stress. The involvement of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease has been suggested. However, specific COX-2 triggered mechanisms participating in catalysis of DA oxidation and enhanced catechol-induced cytotoxicity remain poorly characterized. Here, we demonstrate that in a model biochemical system, recombinant heme-reconstituted COX-2 induced oxidation of 6-OHDA in the course of its peroxidase (H(2)O(2)-dependent) and cyclooxygenase (arachidonic acid (AA)-dependent) catalytic half-cycles. Similarly, COX-2 was able to stimulate 6-OHDA oxidation during its peroxidase- and cyclooxygenase half-cycles and caused oxidative stress in homogenates of PC12 cells stably overexpressing the enzyme (but not in mock-transfected cells). In addition, the increased levels of COX-2 were associated with enhanced cytotoxicity of 6-OHDA in stably transfected PC12 cells. Finally, co-oxidation of 6-OHDA by COX-2 triggered production of superoxide radicals critical for both propagation of 6-OHDA oxidation and induction of oxidative stress in COX-2 overexpressing cells. Thus, we conclude that both peroxidase and cyclooxygenase half-cycles of COX-2-catalyzed reactions are essential for COX-2-dependent activation of 6-OHDA oxidation, oxygen radical production, oxidative stress, and cytotoxicity.

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