Protection against reactive oxygen species by NAD(P)H:quinone reductase induced by the dietary antioxidant butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Decreased hepatic low-level chemiluminescence during quinone redox cycling

Heribert Wefers, Toru Komai, Paul Talalay, Helmut Sies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Menadione elicits low-level chemiluminescence (λ >620 nm) associated with redox cycling of the quinone in mouse hepatic postmitochondrial fractions. This photoemission is suppressed when the animals are fed a diet containing the anticarcinogenic antioxidant, 2[3]-(tert-butyl)-4-hydroxyanisole (BHA), which leads to a 13-fold increase in NAD(P)H:quinone reductase (EC Inhibition of the enzyme by dicoumarol completely abolishes the protective effect of BHA treatment and leads to higher chemiluminescence, reaching similar photoemission for BHA-treated and control animals. These findings indicate that the two-electron reduction promoted by quinone reductase prevents redox cycling and that BHA protects against reactive oxygen species by elevating the activity of this enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 9 1984



  • DT-diaphorase
  • Dicoumarol
  • Dietary antioxidant
  • Low-level chemiluminescence
  • Quinone redox cycling
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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