Kinetic analysis of copper-induced peroxidation of HDL, autoaccelerated and tocopherol-mediated peroxidation

Osnat Raveh, Ilya Pinchuk, Edit Schnitzer, Menahem Fainaru, Zahava Schaffer, Dov Lichtenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comparison of the kinetic profiles of copper-induced peroxidation of HDL and LDL at different copper concentrations reveals that under all the studied experimental conditions HDL is more susceptible to oxidation than LDL. The mechanism responsible for HDL oxidation is a complex function of the copper/HDL ratio and of the tocopherol content of the HDL. At high copper concentrations, the kinetic profiles were similar to those observed for LDL oxidation, namely, relatively rapid accumulation of oxidation products, via an autoaccelerated, noninhibited mechanism, was preceded by an initial 'lag phase.' Under these conditions, the maximal peroxidation rate (V(max)) of HDL and LDL depended similarly on the molar ratio of bound copper/lipoprotein. Analysis of this dependency in terms of the binding characteristics of copper to lipoprotein, yielded similar dissociation constant (K = 10-6 M) but different maximal binding capacities for the two lipoproteins (8 Cu+2/HDL as compared to 17 Cu+2/LDL). Given the size difference between HDL and LDL, these results imply that the maximal surface density of bound copper is at least 2-fold higher for HDL than for LDL. This difference may be responsible for the higher susceptibility of HDL to copper-induced oxidation in the presence of high copper concentrations. At relatively low copper concentrations, the kinetic profile of HDL oxidation was biphasic, similar to but more pronounced than the biphasic kinetics observed for the oxidation of LDL lipids at the same concentration of copper. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the first phase of rapid oxidation occurs via a tocopherol-mediated-peroxidation (TMP) mechanism. Accordingly, enrichment of HDL with tocopherol resulted in enhanced accumulation of hydroperoxides during the first phase of copper-induced oxidation. Notably, the maximal accumulation during the first phase decreased upon increasing the ratio of bound copper/HDL. This behavior can be predicted theoretically for peroxidation via a TMP mechanism, in opposition to autoaccelerated peroxidation. The possible pathophysiological significance of these findings is discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2000


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Copper-induced oxidation
  • Free radicals
  • HDL
  • LDL
  • Tocopherol-mediated peroxidation


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