Quantification and significance of protein oxidation in biological samples

Drug Metab Rev. Aug-Nov 2000;32(3-4):307-26. doi: 10.1081/dmr-100102336.


Protein oxidation is defined here as the covalent modification of a protein induced either directly by reactive oxygen species or indirectly by reaction with secondary by-products of oxidative stress. Oxidative modification of proteins can be induced experimentally by a wide array of prooxidant agents and occurs in vivo during aging and in certain disease conditions. Oxidative changes to proteins can lead to diverse functional consequences, such as inhibition of enzymatic and binding activities, increased susceptibility to aggregation and proteolysis, increased or decreased uptake by cells, and altered immunogenicity. There are numerous types of protein oxidative modification and these can be measured with a variety of methods. Protein oxidation serves as a useful marker for assessing oxidative stress in vivo. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using proteins for this purpose compared to lipids and DNA. Finally, it is important to monitor the degree of oxidative modification of therapeutic proteins manufactured for commercial use. This review will examine various aspects of protein oxidation, with emphasis on using proteins as markers of oxidative stress in biological samples.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species