carbon monoxide (CO):
a gaseous substance which binds as a ligand to numerous metal cations including iron and copper. Carbon monoxide competitively binds to heme and thereby profoundly inhibits the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin and myoglobin. It also profoundly inhibits cytochrome A in the mitochondria where diatomic oxygen must be utilized to produce ATP. It can be used in biochemical research as an inhibitor of numerous enzymes which utilized certain metals in the active center.

carbonyl group (C=O):
any carbon and oxygen atom connected by a double bond as in a ketone, aldehyde, carboxylic acid, glyoxal, or quinone.

carboxylic acid (R-COOH):
any organic acid having a carbon atom attached to both an oxo group and a hydroxyl group. This arrangement can readily release a hydronium ion (H+) to produce the carboxylate anion (RCOO-) in which the electron is delocalized or shared between both oxygen atoms. This enhances the stability of the anion and favors release of the hydronium ion (H+) to the solvent or to other stronger base. Carboxylic acids can be reduced by the addition of two hydrogen atoms to become hydrated aldehydes.

carnitine ((CH3)3N+-CH2-CHOH-CH2-COOH):
N-trimethyl-gamma-amino-beta-hydroxy- n-butyric acid; L-carnitine; a molecule which serves as a shuttle for fatty acyl groups into the mitochondria. In the cytoplasm fatty acyl groups are transferred from fatty acyl coenzyme A (R-CO-S-CoA) to the middle hydroxyl group of carnitine forming an ester. This ester can shuttle into the mitochondria. Once inside the reverse occurs as the fatty acyl group is transferred to yet another molecule of CoA thereby releasing the carnitine to shuttle back out. Intramitochondrial fatty acyl CoA undergoes successive oxidation steps which produce FADH2 and NADH.

medium to long chain turpenes naturally occuring in plants. These can be red, orange, or yellow in color due to their long chains of conjugated double bonds. These compounds are able to absorb the energy of excitation of singlet oxygen. Many can be metabolized to vitamin A which supports vision, healing of mucocutaneous tissues, and immune function.

a sequence or series of biochemical reactions or physiologic triggers.

a type of peroxidase which like all peroxidases reduces hydrogen peroxide to produce water. Catalase obtains electrons for this reduction from yet another molecule of hydrogen peroxide thus converting it to oxygen. The overall reaction is: 2 H2O2 ---> O2 + 2 H2O. Catalase has a very high reaction rate when large amounts of H2O2 are present. Thus it has a protective role in living things to guard against excessive H2O2 build up. Catalase is weakly inhibited by high concentrations of its product O2.

a substance which increases the rate of a chemical reaction; a reactant which is released again as a product in a reaction; a material which lowers the threshold or activation energy of a chemical reaction; a substance that facilitates the reaction of other molecular species by bringing the reactive groups together.

a polyphenol with a bioflavonoid structure found in numerous plants especially green tea.

a positively charged molecular species; the type of ion which is attracted electrostatically towards the cathode or negative plate.

the negative plate or electron releasing plate or reductive plate of an electrochemical cell or vacuum tube.

ceruloplasmin (CP):
a blue colored protein rich in copper which is synthesized in the liver and released to varying degrees into the blood. Certain cytokines stimulate the enhanced release of CP during conditions of infection or inflammation. CP delivers copper to peripheral tissues for utilization. Ascorbic acid stimulates the release of copper cations from CP by reduction. CP oxidizes numerous phenols, polyphenols, and hydroquinones. CP eliminates superoxide. Wilson's disease is a genetic disorder attributable to failure to synthesize CP resulting in disturbed copper distribution and utilization, and enhanced susceptibility to copper overload and toxicity.

cesium (Cs):
a heavy alkaline metal in series below rubidium (Rb), potassium (K), sodium (Na), and lithium (Li). Cesium has been found to alter transmembrane hydronium (H3O+) transport resulting in high intracellular pH especially in tumor cells. This has been found to correlate with tumor regression, whenever a pH of 8 or higher is achieved. Incidently, this is the same pH range in which thiols (RSH) deprotonate to become thiolate anions (RS-). Of all naturally occuring reactive groups in living things, thiolate is among the most sensitive to oxidation.

an organic molecule with two or more reactive groups capable of binding as ligands to metal cations. The metal cation chelate complex renders the cation more soluble and mobile thus facilitating its transport into, within, or out of the body. Chelating agents can be used medicinally to detoxify metals and biochemically as inhibitors of enzymes which require metals to function. Such chelators usually abstract the cationic metal from the enzyme.

chlorine dioxide (ClO2):
a yellow gaseous substance composed of two atoms of oxygen covalently bound to each one atom of chlorine. It has one unpaired electron, but is unusually stable as a free radical and has no tendency to dimerize. It smells exactly like elemental chlorine (Cl2). In higher concentrations ClO2 is explosive. It is highly soluble in water. It is a potent oxidant which can release one or two atoms of monoatomic oxygen to numerous reactants or take up electrons from numerous substances. Chlorine dioxide is often reduced in a one electron step producing the chlorite (ClO2-) anion, however, under many circumstances it can be reduced all the way to chloride (Cl-). Like ozone, ClO2 is useful to disinfect drinking water and is a potent antiinfectious agent. Unlike elemental chlorine (Cl2), chlorine dioxide (ClO2) does not produce chloramines nor halomethanes. ClO2 preferentially reacts with ferrous (Fe++), manganous (Mn++), thiols (RSH), aldehydes (RCHO), phenols (ArOH), secondary amines (RNHR') and tertiary amines (RNR'R").

chlorate (ClO3-) anion:
a molecular species composed of one atom of chlorine three covalently bound oxygen atoms and one electron. Chlorate is usually available as the sodium salt (NaClO3). It is much more stable than chlorine dioxide (ClO2), chlorite (ClO2-) or hypochlorite (ClO-). To become reactive it usually requires acidification with a strong acid. However, it can react with certain reductants without acid.

chlorite (ClO2-) anion:
a molecular species composed of one atom of chlorine two covalently bound oxygen atoms and one electron. Chlorite is usually available as the sodium salt (NaClO2). Chlorites can oxidize ferrous (Fe++) and thiols (RSH). Upon acidification chlorite (Cl)2-) takes up one hydronium cation (H+) to form the unstable chlorous acid (HClO2), which disproportionates producing chlorine dioxide (ClO2) primarily and other oxides of chlorine.

chlorous acid (HClO2):
a neutral molecule composed of one atom of chlorine, two atoms of oxygen, and one atom of hydrogen; the conjugate acid of the chlorite (ClO2-) anion. Chlorous acid is unstable and considered a reactive intermediary species. It readily oxidizes ambient chlorite (ClO2-) producing chlorine dioxide (ClO2) and dichlorine dioxide (Cl2O2) another unstable intermediate.

chromium (Cr):
a multivalent transition metal whose trivalent cation is important in cholesterol metabolism and in the activation of insulin receptors.

citric acid:
a tricarboxylic acid and part of the Kreb's cycle. Citric acid is also a chelator and an inhibitor of the prooxidant effects of ceruloplasmin.

coenzyme A (CoA):
a complex mononucleotide type coenzyme consisting of the following covalently bound parts listed in order: adenine, sugar, phosphates, pantothenic acid, 2-aminoethylthiol (beta-mercaptoethylamine). Its main function is to carry acyl groups at the thiol end. CoA is the donor of acetyl groups to the Kreb's cycle. CoA holds fatty acyl groups in both the synthesis and the oxidative degradation of fatty acids. CoA delivers both the acetyl groups and the acetoacetyl groups in the synthesis of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA), which is subsequently reduced to free the CoA and produce mevalonic acid, a precursor to various isoprenoids. The unacetylated thiol form of CoA is able to redox cycle forming disulfides with glutathione, cysteine, and other thiol containing compounds including proteins. Many functions of CoA are thus reversibly inhibited by pro-oxidant conditions due to this temporary binding phenomenon.

coenzyme Q (CoQ):

a substance necessary to the function of an enzyme besides the substrate(s) of the reaction(s) it catalyses. A few examples follow: magnesium in kinases; FAD, Fe+++ or Cu++ in various oxidoreductases; glutathione in glyoxalase; pyridoxal phosphate in transaminases.

conjugated dienes:
an oxidatively modified polyunsaturated fatty acid having two double bonds seperated by only one single bond, unlike the original state in which all double bonds are separated by two or more single bonds. To produce conjugated dienes a polynsaturated fatty acid must first undergo abstraction of an allylic hydrogen atom between two double bonds thus producing a carbon centered free radical. The loan electron can shift positions to the opposite side of either adjacent pi bond as the effected pi bond correspondingly shifts towards the middle. If the radical is reduced while existing in this shifted position, the two double bonds remain locked in the shifted position seperated by only one single bond. Thus they are conjugated.

conjugated pi bonds:
an alternating system of single and double bonds such that all the sigma bonds and atoms involved lie in the same geometric plane which condition allows the pi bonds to interact; pi bonds which are electrically, magnetically, and chemically interactive. Conjugated pi bonds delocalize charges and/or unpaired electrons by allowing them to shift positions or to resonate among various positions. This makes these molecular species more energetically stable than their nonconjugated analogues and so facilitates the production of charged or radicalized states. Conjugated molecules upon reaction yield a variety of products corresponding to each shift in the position of the reactive group involved. Conjugation facilitates many redox reactions by making the semireduced radical intermediaries more easy to form.

copper (Cu):
a transition metal having three valences namely zero, +1 and +2. Copper cations readily redox cycle making these useful and essential to many biological redox reactions. Numerous oxidoreductases have an absolute requirement for copper as a cofactor. Freely soluble copper can generate oxyradicals, whereas enzymatically bond copper is used in certain enzymes to detoxify oxyradicals.

a reaction in which two free radicals combine to form a non-radicalized product; free radical quenching by the addition of another of the same type or a different type of free radical. Note that when the unpaired electron of each of any two free radicals come into close proximity, they tend to pair up and form a new covalent bond.

a type of chemical bond in which the electrons are shared between the two atoms involved. Covalent bonds involve two electrons which are of magnetically opposite orientation or spin. Two types of covalent bonds exist the sigma and the pi. The sigma is the more energetically stable and the stronger of the two.

Crabtree effect:
inhibition of cellular respiration by high concentrations of glucose.

the response of a red blood cell when placed into a hypertonic solution by shrinking which causes the membrane to appear wrinkled. Energetically fit and healthy RBC's are relatively more hypotonic as compared to weaker cells. Thus healthier cells tend to crenate more readily making crenation an easy functional test of cellular energy fitness and ATP production.

cupric cation (Cu++):
the species of copper in the plus two valence state.

cuprous cation (Cu+):
the species of copper in the plus one valence state.

a bright yellow compound naturally occurring in turmuric, which has been found to possess antiinflamatory and antioxidant properties. It carries a two monophenol groups (one at each end of the molecule) which can quench oxyradicals.

cyanide anion (CN-):
a molecular species composed of one atom of nitrogen and one atom of carbon connected by a triple bond and negatively charged. Cyanide strongly binds as a ligand to verious metal cations. Numerous enzymes which employ metals as cofactors are profoundly inhibited by cyanide which is the mechanism of cyanide's extreme toxicity.

cysteine (cys):
an amino acid which bares a thiol group in its side chain. This thiol group is part of and essential to the function of numerous enzymes including many oxidoreductases. Mercury II (Hg++) is highly reactive with the thiol group of cysteine and binds to it tightly which mechanism partially explains the extreme toxicity of Hg++. Many proteins include two cysteines in proximal orientation when first synthesized by the ribosomes. These autooxidize and couple to produce a disulfide bridge which stabilizes the structure of many proteins. This situation is reversible such that the redox status of the medium in which such proteins are suspended controls the structure and / or the activity of the protein. The result is a receptor, an enzyme, or a cell signal mechanism whose function is sensitive to the redox balance of the ambient medium.

a disulfide produced by the oxidative coupling of two cysteines.

a protein which functions as an oxidoreductase having a distinct UV-vis spectrum due to the presence of its reactive group, a porphin analogue with a cationic iron atom at the active center. Cytochromes redox cycle as the iron shifts between its ferric (Fe+++) and its ferrous (Fe++) valence. Cytochrome A is unique in utilizing copper besides iron in the active center, copper being the site at which diatomic oxygen is utilized as a final electron receptor. Tiny diatomic ligands such as azide (NN-), carbon monoxide (CO), cyanide (CN-), and bisulfide (HS-) can bind to the copper and defeat oxygen utilization.

cytochrome P 450:
a specialized cytochrome exhibiting strong absorbtion at the 450 wavelength when reacted with carbon monoxide. This family of enzymes can be found in complexes which add one atom of oxygen to various substrates.

cytochrome P 450 reductase:
a flavoprotein which shuttles two hydrogen atoms into the cytochrome P 450 complex. These are used to reduce one of the atoms of diatomic oxygen producing water (H2O) from it. The other atom of oxygen becomes an adduct to the substrate.

a family of peptide cell-to-cell signal molecules which function to regulate numerous activities of the immune system.

the part of the living cell inside of the outer membrane but outside of the nucleus. The cytoplasm is composed of a solution of various metabolites and electrolytes, a colloidal suspension of various proteins and enzymes, and various organelles.