J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2012, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (1): 45-54.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2011.01091.x

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Soybean Ferritin: Isolation, Characterization, and Free Radical Generation

Andrea Galatro, Elizabeth Robello and Susana Puntarulo*   

  1. Physical Chemistry-PRALIB, School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Junín 956, Buenos Aires C1113AAD, Argentina
  • Received:2011-08-07 Accepted:2011-11-13 Published:2011-11-23
  • About author:*Corresponding author. Tel: +54 11 4964 8244 Ext. 101; Fax: +54 11 4508 3646 Ext. 102; E-mail: susanap@ffyb.uba.ar


The main aim of this work was to assess the multi-task role of ferritin (Ft) in the oxidative metabolism of soybean (Glycine max). Soybean seeds incubated for 24 h yielded 41 ± 5 μg Ft/g fresh weight. The rate of in vitro incorporation of iron (Fe) into Ft was tested by supplementing the reaction medium with physiological Fe chelators. The control rate, observed in the presence of 100 μM Fe, was not significantly different from the values observed in the presence of 100 μM Fe-his. However, it was significantly higher in the presence of 100 μM Fe-citrate (approximately 4.5-fold) or of 100 μM Fe-ATP (approximately 14-fold). Moreover, a substantial decrease in the Trp-dependent fluorescence of the Ft protein was determined during Fe uptake from Fe-citrate, as compared with the control. On the other hand, Ft addition to homogenates from soybean embryonic axes reduced endogenously generated ascorbyl radical, according to its capacity for Fe uptake. The data presented here suggest that Ft could be involved in the generation of free radicals, such as hydroxyl radical, by Fe-catalyzed reactions. Moreover, the scavenging of these radicals by Ft itself could then lead to protein damage. However, Ft could also prevent cellular damage by the uptake of catalytically active Fe.

Galatro A, Robello E, Puntarulo S (2012) Soybean ferritin: Isolation, characterization, and free radical generation. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(1), 45–54.

Key words: ferritin, free radical, iron, soybean

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