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Publication Detail

Title: DNA and RNA strand scission by copper, zinc and manganese superoxide dismutases.

Authors: Dowjat, W K; Kharatishvili, M; Costa, M

Published In Biometals, (1996 Oct)

Abstract: Copper/zinc (Cu/ZnSOD) and manganese (MnSOD) superoxide dismutases which catalyze the dismutation of toxic superoxide anion, O(2-)-, to O2 and H2O2, play a major role in protecting cells from toxicity of oxidative stress. However, cells overexpressing either form of the enzyme show signs of toxicity, suggesting that too much SOD may be injurious to the cell. To elucidate the possible mechanism of this cytotoxicity, the effect of SOD on DNA and RNA strand scission was studied. High purity preparations of Cu/ZnSOD and MnSOD were tested in an in vitro assay in which DNA cleavage was measured by conversion of phage phi X174 supercoiled double-stranded DNA to open circular and linear forms. Both types of SOD were able to induce DNA strand scission generating single- and double-strand breaks in a process that required oxygen and the presence of fully active enzyme. The DNA strand scission could be prevented by specific anti-SOD antibodies added directly or used for immunodepletion of SOD. Requirement for oxygen and the effect of Fe(II) and Fe(III) ions suggest that cleavage of DNA may be in part mediated by hydroxyl radicals formed in Fenton-type reactions where enzyme-bound transition metals serve as a catalyst by first being reduced by superoxide and then oxidized by H2O2. Another mechanism was probably operative in this system, since in the presence of magnesium DNA cleavage by SOD was oxygen independent and not affected by sodium cyanide. It is postulated that SOD, by having a similar structure to the active center of zinc-containing nucleases, is capable of exhibiting non-specific nuclease activity causing hydrolysis of the phosphodiester bonds of DNA and RNA. Both types of SOD were shown to effectively cleave RNA. These findings may help explain the origin of pathology of certain hereditary diseases genetically linked to Cu/ZnSOD gene.

PubMed ID: 8837454 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Antibodies/pharmacology; Bacteriophage phi X 174/metabolism; Cricetinae; DNA, Superhelical/metabolism; DNA, Viral/metabolism; DNA/metabolism*; Escherichia coli/enzymology; Humans; Hydrolysis; Hydroxyl Radical/metabolism; In Vitro Techniques; Oxidative Stress; RNA/metabolism*; Recombinant Proteins/metabolism; Substrate Specificity; Superoxide Dismutase/antagonists & inhibitors; Superoxide Dismutase/immunology; Superoxide Dismutase/metabolism*

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