Peroxidative damage to cardiac mitochondria: Cytochrome oxidase and cardiolipin alterations

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Rat heart mitochondrial membranes exposed to the free radicals generating system tert-butylhydroperoxide/Cu2+ undergo lipid peroxidation as evidenced by the accumulation of thyobarbituric acid reactive substances. Mitochondrial lipid peroxidation resulted in a marked loss of both cytochrome c oxidase activity and cardiolipin content. The alterations in the properties of cytochrome c oxidase were confined to a decrease in the maximal activity (V(max)) with no change in the affinity (K(m)) with respect to the substrate cytochrome c. Various lipid soluble antioxidants could prevent the lipid peroxidation reaction and the associated loss of cytochrome c oxidase activity. External added cardiolipin but no other phospholipids, nor peroxidized cardiolipin was able to prevent tint loss of cytochrome oxidase activity induced by lipid peroxidation. These results establish a close correlation between oxidative damage to cardiolipin and alterations in the cytochrome oxidase activity and may prove useful in probing molecular mechanism of free radicals induced peroxidative damage of mitochondria which has been proposed to contribute to aging and to chronic degenerative diseases.




Paradies, G., Ruggiero, F. M., Petrosillo, G., & Quagliariello, E. (1998). Peroxidative damage to cardiac mitochondria: Cytochrome oxidase and cardiolipin alterations. FEBS Letters, 424(3), 155–158.

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