Pro-oxidative effect of peroxynitrite regarding biological systems: a special focus on high-molar-mass hyaluronan degradation.
Current understanding on the role of peroxynitrite in etiology and pathogenesis of some human diseases, such as cardio-vascular diseases, stroke, cancer, inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes mellitus and diabetic complications has recently led to intensive investigation of peroxynitrite involvement in physiology and pathophysiology. Mechanism of cytotoxic effects of peroxynitrite involve its reactions with lipids, DNA/RNA, proteins, and polysaccharides, thus triggering cellular responses ranging from subtle changes of cell functioning to severe oxidative damage of the affected macromolecules leading to necrosis or apoptosis. The present work is aimed at providing a brief overview of i) peroxynitrite biosynthesis and reaction pathways in vivo, ii) its synthetic preparation in vitro, and iii) to reveal its potential damaging role in vivo, on actions studied via monitoring in vitro hyaluronan degradation. The complex biochemical behavior of peroxynitrite is determined by a number of variables, such as chemistry of the reaction itself, depending mostly on the involvement of conformational structures of different energy states, concentration of the species involved, content of reactive intermediates and trace transition metal ions, contribution of carbon dioxide, presence of trace organics, and by the reaction kinetics. Recently, in vitro studies of oxidative cleavage of hyaluronan have, in fact, been the subject of growing interest. Here we also describe our experimental set-up for studying peroxynitrite-mediated degradation of hyaluronan, a system, which may be suitable for testing prospective pharmacological substances.