, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2377-2383
Date: 01 Dec 2004

Effects of Antioxidants on the Hydrogen Peroxide-Mediated Oxidation of Methionine Residues in Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor and Human Parathyroid Hormone Fragment 13-34

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The effects and mechanisms of different antioxidants, methionine, glutathione, acetylcysteine, and ascorbic acid (AscH2), on the oxidation of methionine residues in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and human parathyroid hormone fragment 13-34 (hPTH 13-34) by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were quantified and analyzed.


The rates of oxidation of methionine residues in G-CSF were determined by peptide mapping analyses, and the oxidation of methionine residue in hPTH 13-34 was quantified by reverse-phase HPLC.


At pH 4.5, free methionine reduces, glutathione and acetylcysteine have no obvious effect on, and AscH2 promotes the rates of oxidation of methionine residues in G-CSF. The H2O2-induced oxidation rate constants for free methionine, acetylcysteine, and glutathione at pH 4.5 were measured to be 32.07, 1.00, and 1.63 M-1h-1, respectively, while the oxidation rate constant for Met1, the most readily oxidizable methionine residue in G-CSF, is 13.95 M−1h−1. Therefore, the different effects of free methionine, acetylcysteine, and glutathione on the rates of oxidation of methionine residues in G-CSF are consistent with their different reactivity toward oxidation by H2O2. By using hPTH 13-34, the effect of AscH2 on the H2O2-induced oxidation of methionine residue was quantified, and the mechanisms involved were proposed. Because of the presence of trace transition metal ions in solution, at low concentrations, AscH2 is prone to be a prooxidant, increasing the hydroxyl radical (⋅OH) production rate via Fenton-type reactions. In addition to peroxide oxidation, these radicals lead to the degradation of hPTH 13-34 to smaller peptide fragments. At high concentrations, AscH2 tends to act as an ⋅OH scavenger. EDTA inhibits ⋅OH production and thus eliminates the degradation of hPTH 13-34 by forming complexes with transition metal ions. However, the rate of oxidation of the methionine residue in hPTH 13-34 increases as the concentration of AscH2 is increased from 0 to 200 mM, and the reason for this is still not clear.


Our results demonstrate that free methionine is an effective antioxidant to protect G-CSF against methionine oxidation at pH 4.5. Acetylcysteine and glutathione are not effective antioxidants at pH 4.5. Their oxidation rates at different pH values imply that they would be much more effective antioxidants than free methionine at alkaline conditions. AscH2 is a powerful electron donor. It acts as a prooxidant in the conditions in this study and is unlikely to prevent oxidation by H2O2 in protein formulation, whether or not EDTA is present.