Glucose accelerates copper- and ceruloplasmin-induced oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and whole serum

Valerio Leoni, Riccardo Albertini, Alberto Passi, Peter M. Abuja, Pierangelo Borroni, Gianvico Melzi D'Eril, Giancarlo De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glucose at pathophysiological concentrations was able to accelerate copper-induced oxidation of isolated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and whole serum. The efficiency of glucose was favored under the following circumstances: (a) when LDL oxidation was induced by low copper concentration, (b) when LDL was partly oxidized, i.e. enriched with lipid peroxides. The glucose derivative methyl-α-D-glucoside was ineffective on Cu2+-induced LDL oxidation, pointing out the essential role of the reactivity of the aldehydic carbon for the pro-oxidative effect. When LDL oxidation was induced by a peroxyl radical generator, as a model of transition metal independent oxidation, glucose was ineffective. Glucose was found to stimulate oxidation of LDL induced by ceruloplasmin, the major copper-containing protein of human plasma. Thus, glucose accelerated oxidation of LDL induced by both free and protein bound copper. Considering the requirement for catalytically active copper and for the aldehydic carbon, the pro-oxidative effect of glucose is likely to depend on the increased availability of Cu+; this is more efficient in decomposing lipid peroxide than CU2+, accounting for acceleration of LDL oxidation. The possible biological relevance of our work is supported by the finding that glucose was able to accelerate oxidation of whole serum, which was assessed by monitoring low-level chemiluminescence associated with lipid peroxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2002


  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucose
  • LDL oxidation
  • Serum oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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