Hemoglobin induced apolipoprotein B crosslinking in low-density lipoprotein peroxidation

Yury I. Miller, Yana Felikman, Nurith Shaklai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative modification of human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is thought to play a major role in the development of atherosclerosis. Free hemin, hemoglobin, myoglobin, and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were reported in different studies as promoters of LDL lipid oxidation. Based on our previous finding that hemin induced oxidative crosslinking of the LDL protein, apolipoprotein B (apo B) (Y. I. Miller and N. Shaklai (1994) Biochem. Mol. Biol. Int. 34, 1121-1129), we compared the ability of free hemin and the above hemoproteins to induce peroxidative modification of apo B using SDS- PAGE. The levels of the final products of lipid peroxidation were determined as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Hemoglobin and myoglobin were found to be as active as free hemin and all these were much more active than the classic peroxidase HRP. Moreover, the products of oxidized apo B differed: hemoglobin, myoglobin, and hemin induced mostly covalent aggregates, while HRP caused fragmentation of apo B. Hemoglobin reactivity was expressed at low H2O2 concentrations even in the absence of molecular oxygen. Desferal, along with other antioxidants, inhibited the hemoglobin- induced LDL oxidation independently of its iron-chelating property. The high peroxidative reactivity of hemoglobin is explained by its ability (unlike HRP) to transfer the oxidative equivalents from the heme active site, through the globin, to LDL. The apo B radicals thus formed are terminated, yielding intermolecular crosslinked protein. It is suggested that small amounts of the highly reactive hemoglobin in plasma, suffice to trigger LDL protein oxidation (along with its lipid oxidation), thereby inflict the atherosclerosis precondition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Feb 1996


  • apolipoprotein B
  • hemin
  • hemoglobin
  • horseradish peroxidase
  • low-density lipoprotein


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