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J Biol Chem. 1982 May 25;257(10):5751-4.

Superoxide radical inhibits catalase.


Catalase was inhibited by a flux of O2- generated in situ by the aerobic xanthine oxidase reaction. Two distinct types of inhibition could be distinguished. One of these was rapidly established and could be as rapidly reversed by the addition of superoxide dismutase. The second developed slowly and was reversed by ethanol, but not by superoxide dismutase. The rapid inhibition was probably due to conversion of catalase to the ferrooxy state (compound III), while the slow inhibition was due to conversion to the ferryl state (compound II). Since neither compound III nor compound II occurs in the catalatic reaction pathway, they are inactive. This inhibition of catalase by O2- provides the basis for a synergism between superoxide dismutase and catalase. Such synergisms have been observed in vitro and may be significant in vivo.

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