Degradation of Membrane Phospholipids by a Direct Nucleophilic Action of Superoxide Anion
At the beginning of the eighties, two contradictory currents of opinions appeared in the literature, about superoxide anion reactivity. For many physicochemists, O2ָ could be considered as a chemical curiosity, presenting only weak reactivity and being thus a “relatively innocuous” species (1). But for biologists and biochemists, O2ָ continued to be regarded, following McCord and Fridovich (2), as an important intermediate, which could be dangerous for aerobic organisms. Recent works, establishing the protective role of superoxide dismutase in grafts and transplantations, as well as in ischemia-reperfusion syndrome, afforded a strong support to that point of view (3–6). However, it was well established that 02ָ cannot act through its oxidant properties (7,8).
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