PMID: 2984288May 1, 1985

D-Penicillamine: analysis of the mechanism of copper-catalyzed hydrogen peroxide generation

The Journal of Immunology : Official Journal of the American Association of Immunologists
G Starkebaum, R K Root


Recent studies have suggested that the inhibition of lymphocyte mitogenesis by D-penicillamine in the presence of copper could be mediated by the formation and action of hydrogen peroxide. To explore this possibility further, we first sought evidence of H2O2 generation by D-penicillamine in a cell-free system by a) measurement of copper-catalyzed D-penicillamine oxidation and the requirement for oxygen in this process; b) direct measurement of H2O2 formation during D-penicillamine oxidation by the peroxidase-mediated oxidation of fluorescent scopoletin; and c) evaluation of the possible synthesis of O2- during D-penicillamine oxidation. The addition of copper to D-penicillamine in physiologic buffer catalyzed D-penicillamine oxidation in a dose-dependent fashion. D-penicillamine oxidation was accompanied by O2 consumption with a molar ratio of approximately 2:1, but did not occur under anaerobic conditions. Furthermore, D-penicillamine oxidation resulted in the formation of amounts of H2O2 stoichiometrically equivalent to oxygen consumption (i.e., 1:1). Copper-catalyzed D-penicillamine oxidation caused reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium in a reaction blocked by superoxide dismutase, suggesting the formation of O2-. Additional s...Continue Reading

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