Study on Chemical Modifications of Glutathione by Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (Cap) Operated in Air in the Presence of Fe(II) and Fe(III) Complexes

Śmiłowicz, D. and Kogelheide, F. and Stapelmann, K. and Awakowicz, P. and Metzler-Nolte, N.

Volume: 9 Pages:
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-53538-y
Published: 2019

Cold atmospheric pressure plasma is an attractive new research area in clinical trials to treat skin diseases. However, the principles of plasma modification of biomolecules in aqueous solutions remain elusive. It is intriguing how reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) produced by plasma interact on a molecular level in a biological environment. Previously, we identified the chemical effects of dielectric barrier discharges (DBD) on the glutathione (GSH) and glutathione disulphide (GSSG) molecules as the most important redox pair in organisms responsible for detoxification of intracellular reactive species. However, in the human body there are also present redox-active metals such as iron, which is the most abundant transition metal in healthy humans. In the present study, the time-dependent chemical modifications on GSH and GSSG in the presence of iron(II) and iron(III) complexes caused by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) under ambient conditions were investigated by IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). HPLC chromatograms revealed one clean peak after treatment of both GSH and GSSH with the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma, which corresponded to glutathione sulfonic acid GSO3H. The ESI-MS measurements confirmed the presence of glutathione sulfonic acid. In our experiments, involving either iron(II) or iron(III) complexes, glutathione sulfonic acid GSO3H appeared as the main oxidation product. This is in sharp contrast to GSH/GSSG treatment with DBD plasma in the absence of metal ions, which gave a wild mixture of products. Also interesting, no nitrosylation of GSH/GSSG was oberved in the presence of iron complexes, which seems to indicate a preferential oxygen activation chemistry by this transition metal ion. © 2019, The Author(s).

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