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J Inorg Biochem. 2008 Feb;102(2):260-7. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Regular oscillatory behavior of aqueous solutions of CuII salts related to effects on equilibrium dynamics of ortho/para hydrogen spin isomers of water.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Hansen Life Sciences Research Building, Purdue University, 201 S. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2064, United States.


Cell surface and growth-related NADH oxidases with protein disulfide-thiol interchange activity, ECTO-NOX, exhibit copper-dependent, clock-related, temperature-independent and entrainable patterns of regular oscillations in the rate of oxidation of NAD(P)H as do aqueous solutions of copper salts. Because of time scale similarities, a basis for the oscillatory patterns in nuclear spin orientations of the hydrogen atoms of the copper-associated water was sought. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements at 9302 eV on pure water were periodic with a ca. 3.5 min peak to peak separation. Decomposition fits revealed 5 unequally spaced maxima similar to those observed previously for Cu(II)Cl(2) to generate a period length of about 18 min. With D(2)O, the period length was proportionately increased by 30% to 24 min. The redox potential of water and of D(2)O also oscillated with 18 and 24 min period lengths, respectively. Measurements in the middle infrared spectral region above a water sample surface revealed apparent oscillations in the two alternative orientations of the nuclear spins (ortho and para) of the hydrogen atoms of the water or D(2)O with 5 unequally spaced maxima and respective period lengths of 18 and 24 min. Thus, the time keeping oscillations of ECTO-NOX proteins appear to reflect the equilibrium dynamics of ortho-para hydrogen atom spin ratios of water where the presence of metal cations such as Cu(II) in solution determine period length.

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