The influence of oxygen on radiation-induced structural and functional changes in glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase
Proteins are major targets for oxidative damage due to their abundance in cells and high reactivity with free radicals. In the present study we examined the influence of oxygen on radiation-induced inactivation and structural changes of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). We chose these two enzymes because they occur at high concentrations and participate in the most important processes in organisms; furthermore, they show considerable similarity in their structure. Protein solutions were irradiated with X-rays in doses ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 kGy, in air and N2O. The much higher radiation inactivation of GAPDH as compared to LDH is correlated with substantially greater structural changes in this protein, mainly involving the loss of free thiol groups (-SH). Of lesser importance in the differentiation of the radiosensitivity of the studied enzymes are tryptophan residues. Molecular oxygen, present during irradiation, increased to a significantly greater extent the inactivation and structural changes of GAPDH than that of LDH. The results suggest that the greater effect of oxygen on GAPDH is due to the higher efficiency of the superoxide radical, the higher amount of hydroperoxides generated, and the higher degree of unfolding of this protein.