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Free Radic Biol Med. 2012 Aug 15;53(4):854-62. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.05.044. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

RNA oxidation catalyzed by cytochrome c leads to its depurination and cross-linking, which may facilitate cytochrome c release from mitochondria.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Growing evidence indicates that RNA oxidation is correlated with a number of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and RNA oxidation has also been shown to induce dysfunction in protein synthesis. Here we study in vitro RNA oxidation catalyzed by cytochrome c (cyt c)/H(2)O(2) or by the Fe(II)/ascorbate/H(2)O(2) system. Our results reveal that the products of RNA oxidation vary with the oxidant used. Guanosine residues are preferentially oxidized by cyt c/H(2)O(2) relative to the Fe(II)/ascorbate/H(2)O(2) system. GC/MS and LC/MS analyses demonstrated that the guanine base was not only oxidized but also depurinated to form an abasic sugar moiety. Results from gel electrophoresis and HPLC analyses show that RNA formed a cross-linked complex with cyt c in an H(2)O(2) concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, when cyt c was associated with liposomes composed of cardiolipin/phosphatidylcholine, and incubated with RNA and H(2)O(2), it was found cross-linked with the oxidized RNA and dissociated from the liposome. Results of the quantitative analysis indicate that the release of the cyt c from the liposome is facilitated by the formation of an RNA-cyt c cross-linked complex. Thus, RNA oxidation may facilitate the release of cyt c from the mitochondrial membrane to induce apoptosis in response to oxidative stress.

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