Reactive nitrogen and oxygen species are implicated in the damage of ischemic tissue that is reperfused. One important pathway may involve xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase uses xanthine, a product of ATP degradation in ischemic tissue, to produce superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. Superoxide reacts rapidly with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite, a powerful oxidant. Another potential source of reactive nitrogen species is the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-nitrite system of activated phagocytes. We demonstrate that peroxynitrite and myeloperoxidase nitrate xanthine in vitro. Through 13C NMR spectroscopy, UV/visible spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry, the major product was identified as 8-nitroxanthine. Xanthine nitration by peroxynitrite was optimal at neutral pH and was markedly stimulated by physiological concentrations of bicarbonate. Xanthine nitration by myeloperoxidase required hydrogen peroxide and nitrite. However, it was independent of chloride ion and little affected by scavengers of hypochlorous acid, suggesting that the reactive agent is a nitrogen dioxide-like species. 8-Nitroxanthine was generated by a low, steady flux of peroxynitrite, and also by the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-nitrite system of activated human neutrophils, suggesting that the reactions may be physiologically relevant. 8-Nitroxanthine may exert biological effects because it markedly increased the production of superoxide by the xanthine oxidase-xanthine system. Our observations suggest a mechanism for the enhanced formation of superoxide in reperfused tissue, which might increase the production of peroxynitrite and 8-nitroxanthine. Generation of 8-nitroxanthine by peroxynitrite and myeloperoxidase could represent a positive feedback mechanism that enhances further the production of both reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in ischemic tissue that is reperfused.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank S.Y. Kassim for help with the xanthine oxidase studies. NMR experiments were performed at the High Resolution NMR Facility, Department of Chemistry, Washington University. Mass spectrometry experiments were performed at the Washington University School of Medicine Mass Spectrometry Resource. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AG19309, AG021191, HL64344, and RR00954). J.P.H. was supported by a Biophysics Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Ischemia-reperfusion injury
- Nitric oxide