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ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Dithiols as more effective than monothiols in protecting biomacromolecules from free-radical-mediated damage: in vitro oxidative degradation of high-molar-mass hyaluronan

Mária Baňasová, Katarína Valachová, Ivo Juránek, and Ladislav Šoltés

Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, SK-84104, Bratislava, Slovakia



Abstract: Oxidative stress and the resulting damage to cellular and extracellular components has been observed in a variety of degenerative processes, including degenerative joint disorders, where high-molar-mass hyaluronan (HA) is often found to be massively degraded. The present study sought to test the hypothesis that dithiols are more effective in protecting biomacromolecules from free-radicalmediated damage than monothiols. The materials/thiols tested included bucillamine (BUC), dithioerythritol (DTE), dithiothreitol (DTT) and glutathione (GSH), as a reference, for their effectiveness in protecting HA from oxidative degradation induced in vitro. Since HA degradation results in a decrease in its dynamic viscosity, rotational viscometry was applied to follow HA oxidative degradation. The free-radical-scavenging activities of the thiols tested were determined by 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) and di(phenyl)-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)iminoazanium (DPPH) assays. It was found that all the dithiols in the concentration range tested protected HA from the oxidative degradation. On the other hand, monothiol GSH exerted protection only at high concentrations (10 μmol L−1 and 100 μmol L−1) and 1 μmol L−1 of GSH even exhibited a prodegradative effect. The ABTS assay revealed free-radical scavenging activities in the following order: BUC, DTT, DTE, GSH, and that of the DPPH assay: BUC, DTE, DTT, GSH. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that dithiols may be more effective than monothiols in affording biomacromolecule protection from oxidative degradation.

Keywords: ABTS – DPPH – oxidative stress – rotational viscometry

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-014-0591-1


Chemical Papers 68 (10) 1428–1434 (2014)

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