Effects of aging and hyperoxia on oxidative damage to cytochrome C in the housefly, Musca domestica

Liang Jun Yan, Rodney L. Levine, Rajindar S. Sohal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cytochrome c is a component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, where it transfers electrons from ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase to cytochrome c oxidase. Autoxidation of some of the components of the electron transport chain is the main source of intracellular O2-·/H2O2 production in aerobic organisms. Because cytochrome c is located on the outer surface of the inner mitochondrial membrane, it is likely to be constantly exposed to H2O2, secreted by mitochondria into the cytosol. The specific objective of this study was to determine whether cytochrome c in the flight muscle mitochondria of the housefly is oxidatively damaged during aging and/or under severe oxidative stress induced by exposure of flies to 100% oxygen. Results of two independent methods, namely tritiated borohydride labeling for determining carbonylation and mass spectral analysis for the measurement of molecular mass, indicated that neither the carbonyl level nor the molecular mass of cytochrome c was affected by aging or hyperoxia. Thus, either cytochrome c is resistant to oxidative damage in vivo or the oxidized cytochrome c is promptly degraded. These findings also support the concept that protein oxidative damage during aging and under oxidative stress is selective. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2000


  • Aging
  • Cytochrome c
  • Free radicals
  • Housefly
  • Mass spectrum
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative modification
  • Protein carbonyls


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