Superoxide dismutaseThe enzyme superoxide dismutase , or SOD, catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide:
- Cu+2-SOD + O2- → Cu+1-SOD + O2
- Cu+1-SOD + O2- + 2H+ → Cu+2-SOD + H2O2.
Although the enzyme isn't especially fast relative to the spontaneous dismutation of superoxide, the ability of the enzyme to provide some protection to organisms is shown by the existence of a motor neuron disease in individuals who have point mutations in SOD and by the finding that the absence of SOD may lead to a form of anemia.
A short but substantive overview of SOD and its literature can be found here.