Bathocuproine-assisted reduction of copper (II) by human albumin

A.I. Ivanov, J.A. Parkinson, E. Cossins, J. Woodrow, P.J. Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Human albumin (studied here as the recombinant protein rHA), a copper-binding protein in blood plasma, is shown to reduce Cu (II) to Cu (I) in the presence of a Cu (I) chelator, bathocuproinedisulfonate (BD). This reaction was accelerated at low pH, when there was little binding of Cu (II) to rHA. The addition of a competitive metal ion, Ni (II), or an increase in the concentration of BD, enhanced the reduction of Cu (II) to Cu (I). It was concluded that the oxidant was the Cu (II) complex of BD, which is likely to bind strongly to albumin. The free thiol at Cys34 was ruled out as the sole reducing agent, since Cys34-blocked albumin also gave rise to Cu (I) in the presence of BD. Reactions with amino acids and peptides suggested that Tyr and possibly His side-chains are potential reductants. BD and its homologues are frequently used as Cu (I)-specific chelators in biological experiments, but the strong oxidant activity of [Cu (II)(BD) 2] 2-and its ability to bind to biological macromolecules should not be overlooked, and may artificially trigger/accelerate Cu (II) reduction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2000


  • bathocuproine disulfonate
  • human albumin
  • copper
  • reduction


Dive into the research topics of 'Bathocuproine-assisted reduction of copper (II) by human albumin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this