Radical sequestration by protein-bound 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine

Michelle Nelson, Ruth Foxwell, Peter Tyrer, Roger Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Protein-bound 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (PB-DOPA), a redox-active product of protein oxidation, is capable of functioning as both a pro- and antioxidant. A number of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated a toxic, non-toxic or even beneficial effect of free DOPA, however little investigation has examined the physiological activity of PB-DOPA. Being the major treatment available for Parkinson's disease, most studies have focused on the effect of DOPA within neurological cells or tissues, although the presence of PB-DOPA in other locations, for example within atherosclerotic plaques, suggests that broader research is needed to fully understand the physiological effects of both free and PB-DOPA. We hypothesise that the generation of PB-DOPA can trigger an enhancement of the cellular antioxidant defence system, thus enabling PB-DOPA to restrict and potentially terminate the initiating oxidative stress, minimising the level of oxidative damage. Using luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence, we demonstrate that free DOPA is capable of direct peroxyl radical scavenging, even in the presence of competing scavengers, and has a different effect to that of the parent amino acid, tyrosine. Furthermore, we show that both free and PB-DOPA, in combination or individually, were able to protect monocytes and macrophages from peroxyl radical-induced oxidative stress in vitro. These results confirm a role for both free and PB-DOPA in cellular antioxidant defences and suggest the possibility of using DOPA as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of diseases involving oxidative stress or the accumulation of oxidative damage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-761
Number of pages7
JournalThe International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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