Oxygen transfer from bleomycin-metal complexes

N. Murugesan, G. M. Ehrenfeld, S. M. Hecht

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60 Scopus citations


Both Fe(III) and Cu(II) complexes of bleomycin (BLM), but not N-acetyl BLM · Fe(III), mediated the transfer of oxygen from iodosobenzene to organic substrates. In analogy with results obtained using certain cytochrome P-450 analogs, cis-stilbene was converted cleanly to the respective oxide, while no more than traces of trans-stilbene oxide were formed from trans-stilbene under identical conditions. The possible relevance of these observations to the degradation of DNA by bleomycin was also studied. In both the presence and absence of O2, BLM · Cu(II) · C6H5IO effected DNA degradation, as judged by the release of [3H]thymine from radiolabeled Escherichia coli DNA. These findings provide a valuable new assay system for the study of bleomycin analogs and suggest the possibility that bleomycin may function as an 'oxygen transferase' in its degradation of DNA in situ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8600-8603
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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