Peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) is known to inactivate important cellular targets and also mediate oxidative damage in DNA. The present study has demonstrated that phycocyanin, a biliprotein from spirulina platensis and its chromophore, phycocyanobilin (PCB), efficiently scavenge ONOO(-), a potent physiological inorganic toxin. Scavenging of ONOO(-) by phycocyanin and PCB was established by studying their interaction with ONOO(-) and quantified by using competition kinetics of pyrogallol red bleaching assay. The relative antioxidant ratio and IC(50) value clearly indicate that phycocyanin is a more efficient ONOO(-) scavenger than PCB. The present study has also shown that PCB significantly inhibits the ONOO(-)-mediated single-strand breaks in supercoiled plasmid DNA in a dose-dependent manner with an IC(50) value of 2.9 +/- 0.6 microM. These results suggest that phycocyanin, has the ability to inhibit the ONOO(-)-mediated deleterious biological effects and hence has the potential to be used as a therapeutic agent.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.