Molecular pharmacology

Horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed oxidation of acetaminophen to intermediates that form polymers or conjugate with glutathione.

PMID 3951429


Horseradish peroxidase catalyzed the polymerization of acetaminophen. Addition of reduced glutathione (GSH) to reaction mixtures resulted in decreased polymerization and formation of minor amounts of GSH-acetaminophen conjugates. The conjugates were identified as 3-(glutathion-S-yl)acetaminophen and 3-(glutathion-S-yl)diacetaminophen. Horseradish peroxidase also catalyzed polymerization of synthetic 3-(glutathion-S-yl)acetaminophen to a dimer conjugate. In contrast to acetaminophen, 3-(glutathion-S-yl)acetaminophen oxidation was slowly catalyzed by horseradish peroxidase. However, in reaction mixtures containing equimolar concentrations of acetaminophen and synthetic 3-(glutathion-S-yl)acetaminophen, the formation of 3-(glutathion-S-yl)diacetaminophen and 3-(diglutathion-S-yl)diacetaminophen was rapid and accounted for approximately 95% of the products, whereas acetaminophen polymers accounted for only 5% of the products. These findings suggest that horseradish peroxidase catalyzed the one-electron oxidation of acetaminophen to N-acetyl-p-benzosemiquinone imine which preferentially polymerized rather than reacted with GSH. N-Acetyl-p-benzosemiquinone imine may also oxidize 3-(glutathion-S-yl)acetaminophen to form acetaminophen and 3-(glutathion-S-yl)-N-acetyl-p-benzosemiquinone imine. The data indicate that once this conjugate radical is formed it reacts with either N-acetyl-p-benzosemiquinone minine or 3-(glutathion-S-yl)-N-acetyl-p-benzosemiquinone imine via a radical termination mechanism.