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J Photochem Photobiol B. 1991 Apr;9(1):105-16.

Activity of thiols as singlet molecular oxygen quenchers.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie I, Universität Düsseldorf, F.R.G.


Singlet molecular oxygen O2(1 delta g) arising from the thermodissociation of the endoperoxide of 3,3'-(1,4-naphthylidene) dipropionate (NDPO2) was used to assess the quenching ability of various thiols and related compounds in sodium phosphate buffer in D2O at 37 degrees C. The overall quenching ability decreases in the sequence ergothioneine, methionine, cysteine, beta,beta-dimethyl cysteine (penicillamine), mercaptopropionylglycine, mesna, glutathione (GSH), dithiothreitol, N-acetyl cysteine and captopril. Cystine, glutathione disulphide, dimesna, methionine sulphone and methionine sulphoxide have no quenching effect. Comparison of the rate constants for physical (kq) with chemical (kr) quenching by thiols indicates that chemical reactivity accounts fully for their ability to quench O2(1 delta g), and pD dependence indicates that the thiolate anion reacts with O2(1 delta g). Loss of thiol groups, as exemplified by GSH, is not affected by the free radical scavengers superoxide dismutase and mannitol. However, sodium azide, a scavenger of O2(1 delta g), completely prevents NDPO2-induced thiol depletion. Depletion of GSH by NDPO2 is accompanied by the formation of its disulphide, sulphinate, sulphonate, sulphoxide and other products.

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