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Eur J Biochem. 1997 May 1;245(3):541-8.

NADH oxidase activity of human xanthine oxidoreductase--generation of superoxide anion.

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School of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK.


Human xanthine oxidase was purified from breast milk. The dehydrogenase form of the enzyme, which predominates in most mammalian tissues, catalyses the oxidation of NADH by oxygen, generating superoxide anion significantly faster than does the oxidase form. The corresponding forms of bovine enzyme behave very similarly. The steady-state kinetics of NADH oxidation and superoxide production, including inhibition by NAD, by the dehydrogenase forms of both enzymes, are analysed in terms of a model involving two-stage recycling of oxidised enzyme. Established inhibitors of xanthine oxidoreductases (allopurinol oxypurinol, amflutizole and BOF 4272), which block all other reducing substrates, were ineffective in the case of NADH. Diphenyleneiodonium, on the other hand, was a powerful inhibitor of NADH oxidation. The potential involvement of reactive oxygen species arising from NADH oxidation by xanthine oxidoreductase in ischaemia-reperfusion injury and other disease states, as well as in normal signal transduction, is discusssed.

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