a chemical process by which an atom or group of atoms is removed from a molecule. For example, a hydrogen atom [H], which is taken away by a strong oxidant or by a dehydrogenating enzyme, is said to be abstracted.

a molecule which carries acetyl groups (CH3-CO-) into the mitochondria where these are fed into the Kreb's cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle) and metabolized to produce NADH.

causing an enzyme to function or causing an enzyme to increase its rate of function; altering conditions to become more conducive to enzyme function. For example, an enzyme which requires a certain cofactor becomes active only when that cofactor is present. Digestive enzymes of the intestinal lumen are only active in a solution of alkaline pH. Many dehydrogenases require an abundance of the electron acceptor NAD+ or NADP+ to enable them to function. Many kinases require magnesium.

active center:
that part of an enzyme which is utilized to perform the catalytic function of that enzyme.

acyl radical (R-CO*):
a carbonyl group with an unpaired electron at one of the binding sites of the carbon atom and a hydrocarbon group at the other. Acyl radicals can be generated by oxidative removal of the terminal hydrogen atom of an anhydrous aldehyde.

a contraction of the phrase "addition product"; the product of the covalent attachment of one molecule to another. Some adducts cause the permanent blocking or inhibition of an enzyme. Adducts to DNA can be mutagenic and/or carcinogenic. Many adducts are allergenic and known as haptens. Mechanisms of adduct formation can vary. Some occur by simple trapping of a free radical, others by combining with a nucleophile or an electrophile.

adenosine triphosphate (ATP):
a three part molecule consisting of the nitrogenous heterocyclic base adenine covalently attached to a sugar molecule which is covalently attached to three colinear phosphoryl groups. ATP functions as a source of highly reactive phosphoryl groups which energize numerous biochemical reactions or which modify certain substrates for specific use.

a quinone imine produced by the exposure of a catecholamine to fairly harsh oxidizing conditions.

able to survive in and utilize atmospheric oxygen; the characteristic of utilizing metabolic pathways in which diatomic oxygen is the final electron acceptor.

the nonsugar part of a glycoside or the nonsugar product of hydrolysis of a glycoside.

agmatine (NH2-CNH-NH-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-NH2):
1-amino-4-guanido-n-butane; the amine produced by the decarboxylation of arginine.

alcohol (R-OH):
any organic molecule with a hydroxyl group attached to one of its a carbon atoms.

alcohol dehydrogenase:
an enzyme which abstracts two atoms of hydrogen from primary alcohols producing aldehydes. It requires zinc and NAD+ as cofactors.

aldehyde (R-CH=O):
a molecule possessing a carbonyl group bound to a hydrogen atom on one side and any organic radical on the other. Aldehydes can be hydrogenated to become alcohols or oxidized to become carboxylic acids. They readily form adducts with alcohols, with thiols, and with amines by nucleophilic addition at the carbon atom. In aqueous solution, aldehydes are mostly hydrated by the acceptance of one molecule of water (another nucleophile) to become 1,1-dihydroxy compounds.

aldehyde dehydrogenase:
an enzyme which abstracts two atoms of hydrogen from a hydrated aldehyde (R-CH=O) to produce a carboxylic acid (R-COOH). It requires molybdenum (Mo), FAD, and iron (Fe) as cofactors. It donates electrons one at a time to diatomic oxygen (O2) producing superoxide radical (*OO-).

alkoxyl radical (RO*):
a free radical with the unpaired electron is localized to an oxygen atom and a bound organic radical attached to the other valence of the oxygen atom. Alkoxyl radicals are able to abstract hydrogen atoms from numerous donors or to attach themselves to the pi bonds of other molecules.

the addition of an alkyl radical to another molecule.

alkyl radical (R*):
a free radical with the unpaired electron localized to one of the carbon atoms of the radical; a carbon centered free radical.

alkylperoxyl radical (ROO*):
a free radical with the unpaired electron localized to the terminal oxygen atom, which itself is also attached to another oxygen atom, which is in turn bound to an alkyl group. ROO*'s are usually produced by the addition of diatomic oxygen to an alkyl radical.

allicin (CH2=CH-CH2-SO-S-CH2-CH=CH2):
diallyl-disulfide monoxide; the odiferous component of Allium sativum (garlic). Allicin is a weak oxidant and is able to accept four hydrogen atoms from thiol group donors. It has significant antibacterial properties.

allyl group (-CH2-CH=CH2):
a bound hydrocarbon radical composed of three carbon atoms, the middle bond being single and the outer bond double. It is found in compounds as diverse as allicin and lapachol.

a bitter tasting anthroquinone found in the rind of aloe vera having antiinfective and immunostimulating effects.

alpha-keto-aldehyde (R-CO-CHO):
an aldehyde with an adjacent carbonyl group. The two carbonyl groups usually rotate to opposing positions. This tends to orient the pi bonds in a parallel configuration allowing them to conjugate, which facilitates redox cycling. Growth inhibiting properties have been observed for many of these compounds. They are enzymatically eliminated by glyoxalase.

alpha-keto-carboxylic acid (R-CO-COOH):
a carboxylic acid with an adjacent carbonyl group.

alpha-keto-ketone (R-CO-CO-R):
an organic molecule with two adjacent keto groups. The keto groups usually orient in opposing positions, which allows them to conjugate, which facilitates redox cycling.

amine (R-NH2, R-NH-R', R-NR'-R"):
an organic molecule containing nitrogen connected to carbon or hydrogen by single bonds. Primary amines contain nitrogen attached to one carbon and two hydrogens. In secondary amines the nitrogen is attached to two carbons and one hydrogen. In tertiary amines nitrogen is attached to three carbons only. In quaternary ammonium compounds there are no hydrogen atoms attached to the nitrogen only carbon atoms. The nitrogen atom bares a positive charge and covalently binds four alkyl groups.

amine oxidase (AO):
any of a family of enzymes which dehydrogenate amines. They function by abstracting two hydrogen atoms, one from the nitrogen atom, and one from the adjacent carbon atom. The resultant imine then hydrolyses. Usually this produces an aldehyde and ammonia. AO's utilize various redox active cofactors such as copper, FAD, TPQ, or TTQ.

amino group (-NH2):
a nitrogen atom covalently bound to two hydrogen atoms and also bound to the rest of the molecule. Amino groups can be removed by oxidation. Amino groups can add to carbonyl compounds as nucleophiles, and then a subsequent dehydration yeilds an imine. Amino groups are alkalinizing by the acceptance of protons from the solvent.

not able to survive in an atmosphere of oxygen; not utilizing diatomic oxygen as the final electron acceptor.

devoid of water; completely without water. Anhydrous compounds are the products of the removal off water, which was normally part of their makeup before drying. Drying can be accomplished by contact with heat, special salts, or strong mineral acid.

anion (X-):
a molecular species baring a negative electric charge; the molecular species which is attracted towards the anode or positively charged plate.

the positively charged plate in electrochemistry or in vacuum tubes; the electron removing or oxidizing plate.

anthroquinone (AQ):
a molecule having a quinone nucleus and conjugated with two aromatic rings. The ethylene bridges connecting the carbonyl groups are part of these aromatic rings making AQ's tricyclic compounds. These aromatic side rings protect the 2,3,5 and 6 carbon positions of the quinone nucleus against free radical addition reactions. The rings also provide enhanced delocalization of the unpaired electron of the semireduced species. This makes the semianthroquinone radical (*AQH) extraordinarily stable and facilitates the ability of AQ's to redox cycle.

any of several types of compounds able to prevent or neutralize the effects of oxyradicals and other oxidants. Most antioxidants are reductants, while others function by trapping oxyradicals. Some antioxidants deactivate certain precursors which would otherwise promote oxidation. Some absorb the energy of a strong oxidant or alter its composition causing it to become less active. Still others surround or protect the substrate which is at risk of oxidation.

a transcription factor complex containing subunits Jun and Fos which binds to DNA. Upon association with other transcription factors promotes mRNA production in the cell nucleus. AP-1 and its subunits contain redox sensitive cysteine residues which are readily inhibited by oxidants and reactivated by reductants (usually thiols). Substitution of certain cysteine residues of AP-1 to serine results in an irreversibly active factor.

programed cell death; a natural physiologic process whereby cells self destruct; autolysis of living cells. Apoptosis eliminates certain cells which are no longer of benefit to the organism as a whole. One of the physiologic triggers within many types of cells to initiate apoptosis is activated by oxidants. Apoptosis is observable in embroyology and immunology. It's failure to occur in certain clones of tumor cells makes these more resistant to therapy.

the beta-D-glucoside of hydroquinone; a combination of glucose and hydroquinone. Arbutin naturally occurs in the leaves of cranberry, blueberry, and pear. Arbutin has been found useful as a urinary antiseptic. It can be hydrolyzed to release the free hydroquinone by dilute acid or by the enzyme emulsin.

arginine (NH2-CNH-NH-CH2-CH2-CH2-HCNH2-COOH):
an essential amino acid and precursor to numerous proteins, including highly alkaline proteins such as histones and protamines; precursor to nitric oxide by action of nitric oxide synthase; precursor to urea and ornithine by action of arginase.

aromatic compounds:
organic compounds containing a benzene ring. A benzene ring is a coplanar six carbon ring connected by six sigma bonds and three conjugated pi bonds.

arsenic cation (Ar+++):
a toxic element which forms adducts with thiol groups particularly dithiols such as thioctic acid (lipoic acid). Arsenic specifically inhibits the pyruvate dehydrogenase enzyme complex preventing the admission of new acetyl groups into the Kreb's cycle from pyruvate. Arsenic is a recognized cause of fatigue, arteriosclerosis, and cancer.

arsenite (AsO3---):
the anionic component of the salts of arsenic acid (H3AsO3). Arsenite can be reduced in vivo to produce the highly toxic arsenic cation (Ar+++).

an endoperoxide naturally occuring in the wormwood species Artemisia annua. It becomes active as an oxidant in vivo and has been found effective to treat numerous parasitoses and some cancers. A related compound is artemether.

aryl group:
phenyl group; a benzene ring bound by one of its six carbons and maintaining its conjugated triple pi bond structure.

ascorbic acid (AA or AAH2):
vitamin C in its reduced form; hexuronic acid. Ascorbic acid is a highly water soluble reductant with an enediol reactive group. In the presence of both oxidants and reductants it can redox cycle. In vivo it serves as a rechargeable reductive antioxidant and as a physiologic reducing agent for some synthetic functions.

ascorbyl radical (*AAH):
the semioxidized form of ascorbic acid having only one of its hydrogen atoms removed.

removing a patients blood, treating it, and reinfusing it.

the spontaneous oxidation of certain substances upon exposure to atmospheric oxygen (O2) at ambient temperature and pressure.

azide anion (NN-):
a negatively charged molecular species composed of two nitrogen atoms and one electron. Azide binds as a ligand to copper cations. It is used in research as an inhibitor of enzymes which utilize copper.