Free Access
J. Chim. Phys.
Volume 96, Number 1, January 1999
Page(s) 71 - 84
J. Chim. Phys. Vol. 96, N°1  p. 71-84
DOI: 10.1051/jcp:1999113

Some aspects of the chemistry and biology of the superoxide radical anion

Faraggi M.1 and Houée-Levin C.2

1  Department of Nuclear Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva 84110, Israel
2  LPCR, Université de Paris-Sud, bat. 350, Centre Universitaire, 91405 Orsay Cédex, France

There is increasing evidence that the superoxide radical anion is produced in many biological reactions and especially in respiration. Also, there are many indications that the participation of this radical in certain biological reactions can ultimately have deleterious effects on the health and well being of certain individuals. Based on pulse radiolytic method of generating superoxide its physical and chemical properties are described. This review gives the present state of research on the formation and reactivity of the superoxide radical anion in biological systems, the physiological function of superoxide dismutase, as well as several enzymatic reactions for which the participation of the radical has not yet been conclusively established.

Les signes de la production du radical anion superoxyde lors de nombreuses réactions biologiques et surtout lors de la respiration sont maintenant bien établis. De nombreux résultats montrent que la participation de ce radical dans certaines réactions biologiques peut conduire a des effets délétères préjudiciables à la santé. Bases sur la génération du radical superoxyde par la méthode de radiolyse pulsée, ses propriétés physiques et chimiques seront analysées. La présentation inclura l'état actuel de la recherche sur la formation et la réactivité de l'anion superoxyde dans les systèmes biologiques, la fonction physiologiques de la superoxyde dismutase aussi bien que celles de plusieurs autres réactions enzymatiques, pour lesquelles la participation de ce radical n'a pas encore été clairement établie.

Key words: superoxide radical anion, pulse radiolysis, physical and chemical properties, respiration, superoxide dismutase, enzymatic reactions

© EDP Sciences 1999

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