Cellular vitamin C accumulation in the presence of copper

Abstract

Under the cell-free condition, copper is known to oxidize ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C) and the event leads to the loss of vitamin C. However, the biological consequence of this interaction was never examined in the presence of cells. We demonstrated in intestinal epithelial cells that dehydroascorbic acid (the oxidized form of ascorbic acid), when generated from ascorbic acid in the presence of copper, can be efficiently transported into the cells and reduced back to ascorbic acid. We also observed in other types of cells the transport and intracellular reduction of dehydroascorbic acid in the presence of copper. In the presence of iron, a metal that also oxidizes ascorbic acid, we observed similar oxidation-related accumulation in intestinal cells. Other metals that do not interact with ascorbic acid had little effect on vitamin C transport. A nonmetal pro-oxidant, hydrogen peroxide, is known to oxidize ascorbic acid and we observed that the oxidation is also accompanied by an increased intracellular accumulation of vitamin C. The efficient coupling between dehydroascorbic acid transport and intracellular reduction could help to preserve the important nutrient when facing oxidative metals in the intestine.

DOI: 10.1385/BTER:100:2:125

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Cite this paper

@article{Kuo2004CellularVC, title={Cellular vitamin C accumulation in the presence of copper}, author={Shiu-Ming Kuo and Di Tan and James C. Boyer}, journal={Biological Trace Element Research}, year={2004}, volume={100}, pages={125-136} }