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Copper-phenanthroline-induced Site-specific Oxygen-radical Damage To DNA. Detection Of Loosely Bound Trace Copper In Biological Fluids

J M C Gutteridge

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Copper(II) ions, in the presence of 1,10-phenanthroline, O2 and a reducing agent, degrade DNA with the release of thiobarbituric-acid-reactive material. This reaction, dependent on the formation of oxygen radicals, was made the basis of a sensitive and specific assay for loosely bound copper in body fluids. When applied to certain extracellular fluids, trace amounts of copper could be detected in the lower micromolar range.