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Polysaccharide Degradation By Fenton Reaction--or Peroxidase-generated Hydroxyl Radicals In Isolated Plant Cell Walls.

C. Schweikert, A. Liszkay, P. Schopfer
Published 2002 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The formation of hydroxyl radicals (OH*) by peroxidase was confirmed by EPR spectroscopy using ethanol/alpha-(4-pyridyl-1-oxide)-N-tert-butylnitrone as a spin-trapping system specific of OH*. The effect of OH*, generated either non-enzymatically with the Fenton reaction (H(2)O(2) + Fe(2+)) or with horseradish peroxidase in the presence of O(2) and NADH, on cell walls isolated from maize (Zea mays) coleoptiles or soybean (Glycine max) hypocotyls was investigated. OH* produced by these reactions attack polysaccharides in the wall, demonstrated by the release of a heterogeneous mixture of polymeric breakdown products into the incubation medium. The peroxidase-catalyzed degradation of cell-wall polysaccharides can be inhibited by KCN and superoxide radical (O(2)*) or OH* scavengers. These data support the hypothesis that OH*, produced by cell-wall peroxidases in vivo, act as wall-loosening agents in plant extension growth.
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