Eosinophil peroxidase has been implicated in promoting oxidative tissue damage in a variety of inflammatory conditions, including asthma. It uses H2O2 to oxidize chloride, bromide and thiocyanate to their respective hypohalous acids. The aim of this study was to establish which oxidants eosinophil peroxidase produces under physiological conditions. By measuring rates of H2O2 utilization by the enzyme at neutral pH, we determined the catalytic rate constants for bromide and thiocyanate as 248 and 223s−1 and the Michaelis constants as 0.5 and 0.15mM respectively. On the basis of these values thiocyanate is preferred 2.8-fold over bromide as a substrate for eosinophil peroxidase. Eosinophil peroxidase catalysed substantive oxidation of chloride only below pH6.5. We found that when eosinophil peroxidase or myeloperoxidase oxidized thiocyanate, another product besides hypothiocyanite was formed; it also converted methionine into methionine sulphoxide. During the oxidation of thiocyanate, the peroxidases were present as their compound II forms. Compound II did not form when GSH was included to scavenge hypothiocyanite. We propose that the unidentified oxidant was derived from a radical species produced by the one-electron oxidation of hypothiocyanite. We conclude that at plasma concentrations of bromide (20–120μM) and thiocyanate (20–100μM), hypobromous acid and oxidation products of thiocyanate are produced by eosinophil peroxidase. Hypochlorous acid is likely to be produced only when substrates preferred over chloride are depleted. Thiocyanate should be considered to augment peroxidase-mediated toxicity because these enzymes can convert relatively benign hypothiocyanite into a stronger oxidant.
- hypobromous acid
Abbreviations used: DTPA, diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid; TNB, 5-thio-2-nitrobenzoic acid.
- The Biochemical Society, London ©2001