The effect of albumin on copper-induced LDL oxidation

Edit Schnitzer, Ilya Pinchuk, Ariella Bor, Menahem Fainaru, Dov Lichtenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an attempt to gain deeper understanding of the mechanism or mechanisms responsible for the protective effect of serum albumin against Cu2+-induced peroxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL), we have examined the influence of the concentrations of bovine serum albumin (BSA), Cu2+ and LDL on the kinetics of peroxidation. Since the common method of monitoring the oxidation by continuous recording of the absorbance of conjugated dienes at 234 nm cannot be used at high BSA-concentrations because of the intensive absorption of BSA, we have monitored the time-dependent increase of absorbance at 245 nm. At this wavelength, conjugated dienes absorb intensely, whereas the background absorbance of BSA is low. Using this method, as well as the TBARS assay for determination of malondialdehyde, over a large range of BSA concentrations, we show that in many cases the influence of BSA on the kinetics of oxidation can be compensated for by increasing the concentration of copper. This reconciles the apparent contradiction between previously published data. Detailed studies of the kinetic profiles obtained under different conditions indicate that binding of Cu2+ to albumin plays the major role in its protective effect while other mechanisms contribute much less than copper binding. This conclusion is consistent with the less pronounced effect of BSA on the oxidation induced by the free radical generator AAPH. It is also shown that the copper-albumin complex is capable of inducing LDL oxidation, although the kinetics of the latter process is very different from that of copper-induced oxidation. Nevertheless, when compared to copper induced oxidation at similar concentration of the oxidation-promoter, the kinetics of oxidation induced by copper-albumin complex is very different and is consistent with a tocopherol mediated peroxidation, characteristic under low radical flux. Similar kinetics was observed for copper-induced oxidation only at much lower copper concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-311
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Feb 1997


FundersFunder number
Meerbaum Fund
Ministry of Absorbtion
Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health


    • Albumin
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Copper-induced oxidation
    • LDL
    • Oxidation


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