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J Biol Chem. 1975 Nov 25;250(22):8812-7.

Superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and singlet oxygen in lipid peroxidation by a xanthine oxidase system.


1. Xanthine oxidase acting aerobically upon acetaldehyde was found to cause the peroxidation of linolenate. This was demonstrated by increased absorbance at 233 nm due to diene conjugation and by the detection of a lipid peroxide spot on the thin layer chromatograms. 2. Superoxide dismutase inhibited this lipid peroxidation, as did catalase, thus indicating that both O2- and H2O2 were essential intermediates. Scavengers of singlet oxygen also inhibited the peroxidation of linolenate, whereas scavengers of hydroxyl radical did not. These effects, which were observed in the absence of iron salts, led to the proposal that O2- and H2O2 can directly give rise to a singlet oxygen, as follows: O2- + H2O2 leads to OH- + OH. + O2. 3. This proposal was further supported through the use of 2,5-dimethylfuran, as an indicating scavenger of singlet oxygen. Thus, when this compound was exposed to a known source of singlet oxygen, it gave a product which was detectable by thin layer chromatography. This product was also observed when 2,5-dimethylfuran was exposed to the xanthine oxidase system, in which case its accumulation was prevented by superoxide dismutase or by catalase, but not by scavengers of hydroxyl radical.

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