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J Biol Chem. 1988 Dec 5;263(34):17921-4.

A novel metal-free low molecular weight superoxide dismutase mimic.

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Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


2-Ethyl-1-hydroxy-2,5,5-trimethyl-3-oxazolidine (OXANOH), the one-electron reduction product of the stable nitroxide radical, 2-ethyl-2,5,5-trimethyl-3-oxazolidinoxyl (OXANO), is reportedly oxidized by superoxide, and its oxidation has been proposed as a method for assaying superoxide. We find that superoxide can both reduce OXANO and oxidize OXANOH. The respective rate constants, k1 and k2, were determined using two superoxide-generating systems (xanthine oxidase/xanthine as well as ionizing radiation). OXANOH oxidation and OXANO reduction are both inhibitable by superoxide dismutase, pH-dependent (4.5-9.3), and result in a steady state distribution of [OXANO] and [OXANOH], independent of their initial concentrations, i.e. the OXANO/OXANOH couple exhibits a metal-independent superoxide dismutase-like function. Thus it provides a prototype for future development of improved low molecular weight superoxide dismutase mimics which will also function in cellular hydrophobic (aprotic) compartments such as membranes.

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