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Reactivity Of Hydroxyl And Hydroxyl-like Radicals Discriminated By Release Of Thiobarbituric Acid-reactive Material From Deoxy Sugars, Nucleosides And Benzoate

J M C Gutteridge

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Hydroxyl radicals (OH.) can be formed in aqueous solution by a superoxide (O2.−)–generating system in the presence of a ferric salt or in a reaction independent of O2.- by the direct addition of a ferrous salt. OH. damage was detected in the present work by the release of thiobarbituric acid-reactive material from deoxy sugars, nucleosides and benzoate. The carbohydrates deoxyribose, deoxygalactose and deoxyglucose were substantially degraded by the iron(II) salt and the iron(III) salt in the presence of an O2.− –generating system, whereas deoxyinosine, deoxyadenosine and benzoate were not. Addition of EDTA to the reaction systems producing radicals greatly enhanced damage to deoxyribose, deoxyinosine, deoxyadenosine and benzoate, but decreased damage to deoxygalactose and deoxyglucose. Further, OH. scavengers were effective inhibitors only when EDTA was present. Inhibition by catalase and desferrioxamine confirmed that H2O2 and iron salts were essential for these reactions. The results suggest that, in the absence of EDTA, iron ions bind to the carbohydrate detector molecules and bring about a site-specific reaction on the molecule. This reaction is poorly inhibited by most OH. scavengers, but is strongly inhibited by scavengers such as mannitol, glucose and thiourea, which can themselves bind iron ions, albeit weakly. In the presence of EDTA, however, iron is removed from these binding sites to produce OH. in ‘free’ solution. These can be readily intercepted by the addition of OH. scavengers.