Inhibition effect of thiol-type antioxidants on protein oxidative aggregation caused by free radicals.

March 24, 2020 Science Blog By


This study was aimed to investigate the inhibition effect of thiol-type antioxidants on protein oxidative aggregation caused by free radicals and the underlying mechanisms using six different thiol-type antioxidants (N-acetyl-L-cysteine, methionine, taurine, alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione and thioproline), Cu2+-H2O2 as a free radical generator (mainly a hydroxyl radical generator) and bovine serum albumin as the model protein. The inhibition effect of these antioxidants on protein oxidative aggregation and protective effect against oxidative damage in mouse brain tissues were investigated using SDS-PAGE, intrinsic fluorescence, simultaneous fluorescence, thioflavin T fluorescence, Congo red absorbance and inverted microscope. The results showed that all six antioxidants could inhibit protein oxidative aggregation by scavenging free radicals. In addition, alpha-lipoic acid could also bind to proteins via hydrophobic interactions and thioproline could bind to proteins via hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces, thereby showing much stronger inhibition effect than others. Moreover, alpha-lipoic acid and thioproline could effectively prevent oxidative damage of mouse brain tissues. These results suggest that alpha-lipoic acid and thioproline can effectively inhibit free radical-induced protein aggregation and brain damage, which are worth testing for further anti-Alzheimer properties.


  1. Lyu M, Liu H, Ye Y1, Yin Z.
  2. Biophys Chem. 2020 Mar 19;260:106367. doi: 10.1016/j.bpc.2020.106367.

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