Mechanisms by which cysteine can inhibit or promote the oxidation of low density lipoprotein by copper
Patterson, R. A., Lamb, D. J. and Leake, D. S. (2003) Mechanisms by which cysteine can inhibit or promote the oxidation of low density lipoprotein by copper. Atherosclerosis, 169 (1). pp. 87-94. ISSN 0021-9150
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/s0021-9150(03)00154-0
Oxidised low density lipoprotein (LDL) may play a role in atherogenesis. We have investigated some of the mechanisms by which the thiol cysteine and the disulphide cystine can influence the oxidation of LDL by copper ions. Cysteine or cystine (100 PM) inhibited the oxidation of native LDL by copper in a simple phosphate buffer. One of the mechanisms by which cysteine (or more likely its oxidation products in the presence of copper) and cystine inhibited LDL oxidation was by decreasing the binding of copper to LDL (97% inhibition). Cysteine, but not cystine, rapidly reduced Cu2+ to Cu+. This may help to explain the antioxidant effect of cysteine as it may limit the amount of Cu2+ that is available to convert alpha-tocopherol in LDL into the prooxidant alpha-tocopherol radical. Cysteine (but not cystine) had a prooxidant effect, however, toward partially oxidised LDL in the presence of a low copper concentration, which may have been due to the rapid breakdown of lipid hydroperoxides in partially oxidised LDL by Cu+ generated by cysteine. To prove that cysteine can cause the rapid breakdown of lipid hydroperoxides in LDL, we enriched LDL with lipid hydroperoxides using an azo initiator in the absence of copper. Cysteine, but not cystine, increased the rate of lipid hydroperoxide decomposition to thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in the presence of copper. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.