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Methionine oxidation by reactive oxygen species: reaction mechanisms and relevance to Alzheimer's disease

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2004.09.009
  • Methionine
  • Methionine Sulfoxide
  • Sulfide Radical Cation
  • One-Electron Oxidation
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • β-Amyloid
  • Alzheimer'S Disease
  • Aging
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Abstract The oxidation of methionine plays an important role in vivo, during biological conditions of oxidative stress, as well as for protein stability in vitro. Depending on the nature of the oxidizing species, methionine may undergo a two-electron oxidation to methionine sulfoxide or one-electron oxidation to methionine radical cations. Both reaction mechanisms derive catalytic support from neighboring groups, which stabilize electron-deficient reaction centers. In vivo, methionine sulfoxide is subject to reduction by the methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) system, suggesting that some methionine sulfoxide residues may only be transiently involved in the deactivation of proteins through reactive oxygen species (ROS). Other methionine sulfoxide residues may accumulate, depending on the accessibility to Msr. Moreover, methionine sulfoxide levels may increase as a result of a lower abundance of active Msr and/or the required cofactors as a consequence of pathologies and biological aging. On the other hand, methionine radical cations will enter predominantly irreversible reaction channels, which ultimately yield carbon-centered and/or peroxyl radicals. These may become starting points for chain reactions of protein oxidation. This review will provide detailed mechanistic schemes for the reactions of various prominent, biologically relevant ROS with methionine and organic model sulfides. Emphasis will be given on the one-electron oxidation pathway, characterizing the physico-chemical parameters, which control this mechanism, and its physiological relevance, specifically for the oxidation and neurotoxicity of the Alzheimer's disease β-amyloid peptide (βAP).

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