Modulation of sulfide oxidation and toxicity in rat mitochondria by dehydroascorbic acid

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Hydrogen sulfide is enzymatically produced in mammalian tissues and functions as a gaseous transmitter. However, H2S is also highly toxic as it inhibits mitochondrial respiration at the level of cytochrome c oxidase, which additionally is involved in sulfide oxidation. The accumulation of toxic sulfide levels contributes to the pathology of some diseases. This paper demonstrates that sulfide toxicity can be modified, and dehydroascorbic acid functions as an effector in this process. It significantly reduces the inhibitory effect of sulfide on cytochrome c oxidase, resulting in higher rates of respiration and sulfide oxidation in rat mitochondria. After the addition of dehydroascorbic acid mitochondria maintained more than 50% of the oxygen consumption and ATP production rates with different substrates in the presence of high concentrations of sulfide that would normally lead to complete inhibition. Dehydroascorbic acid significantly increased the sulfide concentration necessary to cause half maximal inhibition of mitochondrial respiration and thus completely prevented inhibition at low, physiological sulfide concentrations. In addition, sulfide oxidation was stimulated and led to ATP production even at high concentrations. The decrease in sulfide toxicity was more pronounced when analyzing supermolecular functional units of the respiratory chain than in isolated cytochrome c oxidase activity. Furthermore, the protective effect of dehydroascorbic acid at high sulfide concentrations was completely abolished by quantitative solubilization of mitochondrial membrane proteins with dodeclymaltoside. These results suggest that binding of cytochrome c oxidase to other proteins probably within respiratory chain supercomplexes is involved in the modulation of sulfide oxidation and toxicity by dehydroascorbic acid. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Hildebrandt, T. M. (2011). Modulation of sulfide oxidation and toxicity in rat mitochondria by dehydroascorbic acid. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, 1807(9), 1206–1213.

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