Otto Warburg pioneered quantitative investigations of cancer cell metabolism, as well as photosynthesis and respiration. Warburg and co-workers showed in the 1920s that, under aerobic conditions, tumour tissues metabolize approximately tenfold more glucose to lactate in a given time than normal tissues, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. However, this increase in aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells is often erroneously thought to occur instead of mitochondrial respiration and has been misinterpreted as evidence for damage to respiration instead of damage to the regulation of glycolysis. In fact, many cancers exhibit the Warburg effect while retaining mitochondrial respiration. We re-examine Warburg's observations in relation to the current concepts of cancer metabolism as being intimately linked to alterations of mitochondrial DNA, oncogenes and tumour suppressors, and thus readily exploitable for cancer therapy.
The oxidation of proteins and other macromolecules by radical species under conditions of oxidative stress can be modulated by antioxidant compounds. Decreased levels of the antioxidants glutathione and ascorbate have been documented in oxidative stress-related diseases. A radical generated on the surface of a protein can: (1) be immediately and fully repaired by direct reaction with an antioxidant; (2) react with dioxygen to form the corresponding peroxyl radical; or (3) undergo intramolecular long range electron transfer to relocate the free electron to another amino acid residue. In pulse radiolysis studies, in vitro production of the initial radical on a protein is conveniently made at a tryptophan residue, and electron transfer often leads ultimately to residence of the unpaired electron on a tyrosine residue. We review here the kinetics data for reactions of the antioxidants glutathione, selenocysteine, and ascorbate with tryptophanyl and tyrosyl radicals as free amino acids in model compounds and proteins. Glutathione repairs a tryptophanyl radical in lysozyme with a rate constant of (1.05±0.05)×10(5) M(-1) s(-1), while ascorbate repairs tryptophanyl and tyrosyl radicals ca. 3 orders of magnitude faster. The in vitro reaction of glutathione with these radicals is too slow to prevent formation of peroxyl radicals, which become reduced by glutathione to hydroperoxides; the resulting glutathione thiyl radical is capable of further radical generation by hydrogen abstraction. Although physiologically not significant, selenoglutathione reduces tyrosyl radicals as fast as ascorbate. The reaction of protein radicals formed on insulin, β-lactoglobulin, pepsin, chymotrypsin and bovine serum albumin with ascorbate is relatively rapid, competes with the reaction with dioxygen, and the relatively innocuous ascorbyl radical is formed. On the basis of these kinetics data, we suggest that reductive repair of protein radicals may contribute to the well-documented depletion of ascorbate in living organisms subjected to oxidative stress.
The pH-rate profiles for kcatobsd and (kcat/KM)obsd at 25.0 degrees C have been measured for 3-oxo-delta 5-steroid isomerase by using 5-androstene-3,17-dione (2), 5-pregnene-3,20-dione (3), and 5(10)-estrene-3,17-dione (4) as substrates. Results from the nonsticky substrate 4 suggest values for the pK of a catalytically important group on the free enzyme (pKE) of 4.57 and the pK of the same group in the enzyme-substrate complex of 4.74. For the sticky substrates 2 and 3, pKES is ca. 4.75 and 5.5, respectively. Analysis of the (kcat/KM)obsd vs. pH profile for 2 reveals that the intermediate E X S complex decomposes to products at a rate similar to its reversion to E + S. The pH-rate profile for inhibition of the isomerase by (3S)-spiro-[5 alpha-androstane-3,2'-oxiran]-17-one (7 beta) shows values for pKE of 4.75 and pKEI of 4.90. The similarity of the pH-rate profiles for isomerization of 4 and inhibition by 7 beta suggests that both reactions may be governed by the ionization state of the same carboxyl group of the enzyme.
The isomerisation of ONOOH to NO(3)(-) and H(+), some oxidations and all hydroxylations and nitrations of aromatic compounds are first-order in ONOOH and zero-order in the compounds that are modified. These reactions are widely believed to proceed via homolysis of ONOOH into HO˙ and NO(2)˙ to an extent of ca. 30%. We review the evidence pro and contra homolysis in studies that involve (1) thermochemical considerations, (2) isomerisation to NO(3)(-) and H(+), (3) decomposition to NO(2)(-) and O(2), (4) HO˙ scavenger studies, (5) deuterium isotope effects, (6) (18)O-scrambling studies, (7) electrochemistry, (8) CIDNP NMR, and (9) photolysis. Our conclusion is that homolysis may be involved to a minor extent of ca. 5%. The initiation of ONOOH isomerisation may be visualised as an out-of-plane vibration of the terminal HO-group relative to the nitrogen. At ONOO(-) concentrations exceeding 0.1 mM and near neutral pH, disproportionation to NO(2)(-) and O(2) occurs; such disproportionations are typical for peroxy acids. For oxidation and nitration of organic substrates, we favour a mechanism involving initial formation of an adduct between the compound to be oxidised or nitrated and ONOOH.
An understanding of the reactivity of oligomeric compounds that model fuel cell membrane materials under oxidative-stress conditions that mimic the fuel cell operating environment can identify material weaknesses and yield valuable insights into how a polymer might be modified to improve oxidative stability. The reaction of HO˙ radicals with a polymer electrolyte fuel cell membrane represents an initiation step for irreversible membrane oxidation. By means of pulse radiolysis, we measured k = (9.5 ± 0.6) × 10(9) M(-1) s(-1) for the reaction of HO˙ with poly(sodium styrene sulfonate), PSSS, with an average molecular weight of 1100 Da (PSSS-1100) in aqueous solution at room temperature. In the initial reaction of HO˙ with the oligomer (90 ± 10)% react by addition to form hydroxycyclohexadienyl radicals, while the remaining abstract a hydrogen to yield benzyl radicals. The hydroxycyclohexadienyl radicals react reversibly with dioxygen to form the corresponding peroxyl radicals; the second-order rate constant for the forward reaction is k(f) = (3.0 ± 0.5) × 10(7) M(-1) s(-1), and for the back reaction, we derive an upper limit for the rate constant k(r) of (4.5 ± 0.9) × 10(3) s(-1). These data place a lower bound on the equilibrium constant K of (7 ± 2) × 10(3) M(-1) at 295 K, which allows us to calculate a lower limit of the Gibbs energy for the reaction, (-21.7 ± 0.8) kJ mol(-1). At pH 1, the hydroxycyclohexadienyl radicals decay with an overall first-order rate constant k of (6 ± 1) × 10(3) s(-1) to yield benzyl radicals. The second-order rate constant for reaction of dioxygen with benzyl radicals of PSSS-1100 is k = (2-5) × 10(8) M(-1) s(-1). We discuss hydrogen abstraction from PSSS-1100 in terms of the bond dissociation energy, and relate these to relevant electrode potentials. We propose a reaction mechanism for the decay of hydroxycyclohexadienyl radicals and subsequent reaction steps.
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