Oxidation of the tryptophan 32 residue of human superoxide dismutase 1 caused by its bicarbonate-dependent peroxidase activity triggers the non-amyloid aggregation of the enzyme [Molecular Bases of Disease]

September 18th, 2014 by Coelho, F. R., Iqbal, A., Linares, E., Silva, D. F., Lima, F. S., Cuccovia, I. M., Augusto, O.

The role of oxidative post-translational modifications of human superoxide dismutase 1 (hSOD1) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology is an attractive hypothesis to explore based on several lines of evidence. Among them, the remarkable stability of hSOD1WT and several of its ALS-associated mutants suggests that hSOD1 oxidation may precede its conversion to the unfolded and aggregated forms found in ALS patients. The bicarbonate-dependent peroxidase activity of hSOD1 causes oxidation of its own solvent-exposed Trp32 residue. The resulting products are apparently different from those produced in the absence of bicarbonate and are most likely specific for simian SOD1s, which contain the Trp32 residue. The aims of this work were to examine whether the bicarbonate-dependent peroxidase activity of hSOD1 (hSOD1WT and hSOD1G93A mutant) triggers aggregation of the enzyme and to comprehend the role of the Trp32 residue in the process. The results showed that the Trp32 residues of both enzymes are oxidized to a similar extent to hSOD1-derived tryptophanyl radicals. These radicals decayed to hSOD1-N-formylkynurenine and hSOD1-kynurenine or to a hSOD1 covalent dimer cross-linked by a ditryptophan bond, causing hSOD1 unfolding, oligomerization and non-amyloid aggregation. The latter process was inhibited by tempol, which recombines with the hSOD1-derived tryptophanyl radical, and did not occur in the absence of bicarbonate or with enzymes that lack the Trp32 residue (bovine SOD1 and hSOD1W32F mutant). The results support a role for the oxidation products of the hSOD1-Trp32 residue, particularly the covalent dimer, in triggering the non-amyloid aggregation of hSOD1.
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