Addition of ascorbate or its generation from gulonolactone causes the oxidation of protein thiols and a simultaneous dehydroascorbate formation in rat liver microsomes. The participation of vitamin E in the phenomenon was studied. We measured ascorbate and protein thiol oxidation and lipid peroxidation in vitamin E deficient liver microsomes. Vitamin E deficiency partly uncoupled the two processes: ascorbate oxidation increased, while protein thiol oxidation decreased. These changes were accompanied with an accelerated lipid peroxidation in the vitamin E-deficient microsomes, which indicates the accumulation of reactive oxygen species. All these effects were reduced by the in vitro addition of vitamin E to the deficient microsomes, supporting its direct role in the process. The results demonstrate that vitamin E is a component of the protein thiol oxidizing machinery in the hepatic endoplasmic reticulum transferring electrons from the thiol groups towards oxygen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology