Send to

Choose Destination
Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Aug;25(3):287-97.

Thiol chelation of Cu2+ by dihydrolipoic acid prevents human low density lipoprotein peroxidation.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, 94720-3200, USA.


Mono-thiols can act either as pro- or anti-oxidants during metal-catalyzed low density lipoprotein (LDL) peroxidation, however investigation of the role of vicinal thiols has been neglected. Therefore dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), a vicinal dithiol, and lipoic acid, its oxidized form, were used to investigate Cu2+-mediated LDL peroxidation. We demonstrate here that DHLA inhibited Cu2+-dependent LDL peroxidation by chelating copper. DHLA (0-20 microM) increased lag-times of conjugated diene formation in LDL (100 microg/ml) oxidized with 5 microM Cu2+ in a concentration dependent manner, and this effect was saturated after 5 microM DHLA; enough to chelate all of the added Cu2+. In a similar fashion DHLA prevented LDL-mediated reduction of Cu2+ to Cu+. Lipoic acid had no effect in these systems. DHLA alone also reduced Cu2+, however this was inhibited when DHLA was in excess of the copper concentration. Hence there is complex formation between the two species. Copper:DHLA complex formation was further investigated and found to be dependent upon pH and the presence of oxygen. At low pH (<6), or in the absence of oxygen, the complex is stable, presumably due to vicinal thiol chelation. As the pH is increased, the carboxylate group also participates in copper chelation, this results in a less stable complex which is susceptible to oxidation, and copper is eventually released. Electron spin resonance studies demonstrate the formation of hydroxyl, but not superoxide, radicals during Cu2+-catalyzed DHLA oxidation. Thus in our LDL experiments at physiological pH, DHLA is able to either reductively inactivate Cu2+ when Cu2+ is in excess, or effectively chelate Cu2+ when DHLA is in excess. The Cu2+:DHLA complex eventually undergoes copper-catalyzed oxidation, copper is released and LDL peroxidation proceeds. DHLA, thus, has both pro- and antioxidant properties depending upon the ratio of Cu2+:DHLA and the pH. These results provide an additional mechanism of thiol-mediated formation of radicals and metal chelation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center