Degradation of hyaluronic acid, poly- and monosaccharides, and model compounds by hypochlorite: evidence for radical intermediates and fragmentation

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Degradation of hyaluronic acid by oxidants such as HO. and HOCl/CIO- is believed to be important in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. While reaction of hyaluronic acid with HO. has been investigated extensively, reaction with HOCl/ClO- is less well defined. Thus, little is known about the site(s) of HOCl/ClO- attack, the intermediates formed, or the mechanism(s) of polymer degradation. In this study reaction of HOCl/ClO- with amides, sugars, polysaccharides, and hyaluronic acid has been monitored by UV-visible (220-340 nm) and EPR spectroscopy. UV-visible experiments have shown that HOCl/ClO- reacts preferentially with N-acetyl groups. This reaction is believed to give rise to transient chloramide (R-NCl-C(O)-R') species, which decompose rapidly to give radicals via either homolysis (to produce N. and Cl.) or heterolysis (one-electron reduction, to give N. and Cl.) of the N--C bond. The nature of the radicals formed has been investigated by EPR spin trapping. Reaction of HOCl/ClO- with hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphates A and C, N-acetyl sugars, and amides gave novel, carbon-centered, spin adducts, the formation of which is consistent with selective initial attack at the N-acetyl group. Thus, reaction with hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate A, appears to be localized at the N-acetylglucosamine sugar rings. These carbon-centered radicals are suggested to arise from rapid rearrangement of initial nitrogen-centered radicals, formed from the N-acetyl chloramide, by reactions analogous to those observed with alkoxyl radicals. The detection of increasing yields of low-molecular-weight radical adducts from hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate A with increasing HOCl/ClO-concentrations suggests that formation of the initial nitrogen-centered species on the N-acetylglucosamine rings, and the carbon-centered radicals derived from them, brings about polymer fragmentation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFree Radical Biology & Medicine
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1396-410
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

    Research areas

  • Acetamides, Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy, Ferrous Compounds, Free Radicals, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyl Radical, Hypochlorous Acid, Monosaccharides, Oxidation-Reduction, Polysaccharides, Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet, Spin Trapping

ID: 138283921