Scavenging of reactive oxygen species by a glycolipid fraction of Mycobacterium avium serovar 2

Thomas A. Scherer, Isabel T. Lauredo, William M. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Previous experiments indicated that MIF-A3, a peptidoglycolipid extracted from Mycobacterium avium serovar 2 (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis 18), inhibits the killing of Candida albicans by activated bovine peripheral blood derived macrophages and murine thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Subsequent in vitro data from our laboratory indicated that this reduction in killing may be related to the ability of MIF-A3 to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study we examined this hypothesis directly by determining if MIF-A3 reduced exogenous H2O2- induced candidacidal activity. When Candida albicans was incubated with H2O2 (4 mM) alone, colony-forming units/ml x 104 (CFU/ml) were 0.4 ± 0.1 (mean ± SE, n = 4) as compared to 11.3 ± 2.0 CFU/ml in control (untreated) cultures (p < .05). The addition of catalase at concentrations ≤ 6.8 U/ml, completely blocked the fungicidal effect of H2O2. However, reducing the amount of catalase from 6.8 U/ml to 3.4 U/ml resulted in a loss of scavenging activity, which was associated with a 50% increase in H2O2-mediated killing. Substituting MIF-A3 (400 μg/ml) for catalase, also reduced H2O2- induced fungicidal activity. In the absence of MIF-A3, H2O2 reduced Candida albicans to less than 103 CFU/ml. However, in the presence of MIF-A3 the CFU/ml of Candida albicans increased 7.5-fold. Based on concentration response curves of H2O2 inhibition vs. increasing amounts of catalase we determined that the relative inhibitory capacity of the MIF-A3 (400 μg/ml) was ~1.0 U/ml 'catalase equivalents.' These findings provide direct evidence that MIF-A3 can scavenge H2O2, and reduce H2O2-induced killing of Candida albicans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-565
Number of pages5
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Free radicals
  • Host defense
  • Killing of Candida albicans
  • Mycobacteria
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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