Mechanism of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by hemoglobin-derived iron

Natalie Grinshtein, Vladimir Varlen Bamm, Vladimir Abraham Tsemakhovich, Nurith Shaklai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Excellular hemoglobin is an extremely active oxidant of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), a phenomenon explained so far by different mechanisms. In this study, we analyzed the mechanism of met-hemoglobin oxidability by comparing its mode of operation with other hemoproteins, met-myoglobin and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or with free hemin. The kinetics of met-hemoglobin activity toward LDL lipids and protein differed from that of met-myoglobin and HRP, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Those differences were further clarified by analyzing heme transfer from the above-mentioned hemoproteins to LDL. It appeared that met-hemoglobin transferred most of its hemin to LDL, and the presence of H2O2 accelerated the process. In contrast, met-myoglobin partially released hemin, but only in the presence of H2O2, while HRP could not transfer heme at all. The minor amount of hemin transferred from met-myoglobin to LDL sufficed to trigger ApoB oxidation, forming covalent aggregates via inter-bityrosines. This indicated that heme bound to high affinity site(s) is responsible for oxidation. LDL components providing the sites were analyzed by binding heme-CO monomers to LDL. Soret spectra revealed that the high affinity site of monomeric hemin is located on the LDL protein, ApoB. The complex heme-CO-ApoB underwent instantaneous oxidation to hemin-ApoB, and the bound hemin then slowly disintegrated in conjunction with LDL oxidation. Hemopexin prevented LDL oxidation by trapping hemoprotein transferable heme. We concluded that met-hemoglobin exerts its oxidative activity on LDL via transfer of heme, which serves as a vehicle for iron insertion into the LDL protein, leading to formation of atherogenic LDL aggregates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6977-6985
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by hemoglobin-derived iron'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this