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Planta. 2008 Jan;227(2):465-75. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Excess copper induces accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and increases lipid peroxidation and total activity of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase in roots of Elsholtzia haichowensis.

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College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China.


The effects of excess copper (Cu) on the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and antioxidant enzyme activities in roots of the Cu accumulator Elsholtzia haichowensis Sun were investigated. Copper at 100 and 300 microM significantly increased the concentrations of malondialdehyde and H2O2, and the activities of catalase (E.C., ascorbate peroxidase (E.C., guaiacol peroxidase (GPOD, E.C. and superoxide dismutase (SOD, E.C. Isoenzyme pattern and inhibitor studies showed that, among SOD isoforms, only copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) increased. Excess Cu greatly increased the accumulation of superoxide anion (O2 (.-)) and H2O2 in E. haichowensis roots. This study also provides the first cytochemical evidence of an accumulation of H2O2 in the root cell walls as a consequence of Cu treatments. Experiments with diphenyleneiodonium as an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, 1,2-dihydroxybenzene-3,5-disulphonic acid as an O2 (.-) scavenger, and N-N-diethyldithiocarbamate as an inhibitor of SOD showed that the source of H2O2 in the cell walls could partially be NADPH oxidase. The enzyme can use cytosolic NADPH to produce O2 (.-), which rapidly dismutates to H2O2 by SOD. Apoplastic GPOD and CuZn-SOD activities were induced in roots of E. haichowensis with 100 microM Cu suggesting that these two antioxidant enzymes may be responsible for H2O2 accumulation in the root apoplast.

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