Radioprotective role of vitamins c and e against the gamma ray‐induced damage to the chemical structure of bovine serum albumin

Hajar Zarei, Mostean Bahreinipour, Yahya Sefidbakht, Shokouh Rezaei, Rouhollah Gheisari, Susan Kabudanian Ardestani, Vuk Uskoković, Hiroshi Watabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Radioprotective effects of vitamin C and vitamin E as a water‐soluble and a lipid‐soluble agent, respectively, were investigated at the molecular level during the imposition of gamma radiation‐induced structural changes to bovine serum albumin (BSA) at the therapeutic dose of 3 Gy. Secondary and tertiary structural changes of control and irradiated BSA samples were investigated using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy. The preirradiation tests showed nonspecific and reversible binding of vitamins C and E to BSA. Secondary and tertiary structures of irradiated BSA considerably changed in the absence of the vitamins. Upon irradiation, α‐helices of BSA transitioned to beta motifs and random coils, and the fluorescence emission intensity decreased relative to nonirradiated BSA. In the presence of the vitamins C or E, however, the irradiated BSA was protected from these structural changes caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The two vitamins exhibited different patterns of attachment to the protein surface, as inspected by blind docking, and their mechanisms of protection were different. The hydrophilicity of vitamin C resulted in the predominant scavenging of ROS in the solvent, whereas hydrophobic vitamin E localized on the nonpolar patches of the BSA surface, where it did not only form a barrier for diffusing ROS but also encountered them as an antioxidant and neutralized them thanks to the moderate BSA binding constant. Very low concentrations of vitamins C or E (0.005 mg/mL) appear to be sufficient to prevent the oxidative damage of BSA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1875
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma radiation
  • Protein
  • Radioprotection
  • Vitamin C and E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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