Cytolysis of human erythrocytes by a covalent antibody-selenium immunoconjugate

Lugen Chen, Julian E. Spallholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A selenium (Se)-containing immunoconjugate of a human anti-erythrocyte membrane antibody (Ab-Se) has been synthesized via oxidation of the carbohydrate moieties of the antibody and covalent coupling with selenocystamine. The isolated Ab-Se immunoconjugate is shown to be more hemolytic than is selenocystamine when expressed on equivalent selenium basis. Native antibody preincubated with the human erythrocytes prevented hemolysis induced by the Ab-Se immunoconjugate. As observed microscopically, the Ab-Se immunoconjugate caused extensive damage to the erythrocyte membrane and lysis. The cytotoxicity of Se toward the human erythrocytes is believed to be caused initially by the localized generation of superoxide (O2 ·-) within the cell membrane. This is the first demonstration of site-directed immunoselectivity of Se cytotoxicity and demonstrates the potential for a free radical pharmacology based on localized Se-generated O2 ·-.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-724
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • Ab-Se immunoconjugate
  • Antibody
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Cytolysis
  • Free radicals
  • Human erythrocyte
  • Lucigenin
  • Selenium
  • Superoxide


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