During arousal from estivation in land snails, Otala lactea, active metabolic functions are restored within minutes and oxygen consumption increases dramatically. During the transition from the hypoxic conditions of estivation to normoxia it is possible that xanthine oxidase (XO) in hepatopancreas contributes to the observed lipid peroxidation. Using a fluorometric assay that is based on the oxidation of pterin, the activities and some properties of XO and XO+XDH (sum of XO and xanthine dehydrogenase activities) were measured in hepatopancreas extracts. Km values for pterin for XO and XO+XDH were 9 and 6 μm, respectively, and the Km of XDH for methylene blue was 5 µM. Both XO+XDH and XO activities were inhibited by allopurinol (I50 = 2 µM), pre-incubation at 40 °C, and by 5 min H2O2 pre-exposure. Inclusion of azide in the reaction promoted a rise of approximately 70-fold in the inactivation power of H2O2 due to inhibition of high endogenous catalase activity. The I50 for H2O2 of XO+XDH and XO activities in the presence of azide was 0.04 and 0.11 mM, respectively. Unlike the situation for mammalian XO, a previous reduction of O. lactea XO (by pterin) was not necessary to make the enzyme susceptible to H2O2 effects. Interestingly, methylene blue partially prevented both heat- and H2O2-induced inactivation of XO+XDH activity. These data indicate that the formation of an enzyme-methylene blue complex induces protection against heat and oxidative damage at the FAD-active site. Both XO and XO+XDH activities were significantly higher in snails after 35 days of estivation compared with active snails 24 h after arousal from dormancy. The ratio of XO/(XO+XDH) activities was also slightly increased in estivating O. lactea (from 0.07 to 0.09; P < 0.025). XO activity was 0.03 nmol·min-1 mg protein-1 in estivating snails. Compared with hepatopancreas catalase, XO activity is probably too low to contribute significantly to the net generation of oxyradicals, and hence to peroxidative damage. Rather, the low potential of XO to induce oxidative stress may constitute an adaptive advantage for O. lactea during arousal periods.

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Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Department of Biology

Hermes-Lima, M. (Marcelo), & Storey, K. (1995). Xanthine Oxidase and Xanthine Dehydrogenase from an Estivating Land Snail. Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences, 50(9-10), 685–694. doi:10.1515/znc-1995-9-1015