Free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) are highly toxic and their damaging effects result in a variety of
detrimental health issues such as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and age-related diseases. Human body has evolved an
effective defense system including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase against the toxicity of these free radicals.
SOD is a metalloenzyme and it acts as an excellent antioxidant to protect the body from superoxide radicals that are
generated in the biological system. However, the clinical use of SOD is limited due to its short in vivo life span, and its
large size that hampered its penetration across the cell membranes. Pharmaceuticals that provide ROS scavenging systems
are the most effective when the production of ROS exceeds the scavenging capacity of endogenous SOD as a result of
aging or pathological processes. Inspired by the Nature, scientists have designed metal-based mimics of the superoxide
dismutase. This review focuses on different copper complexes that are developed from bioactive ligands and mimic the
protecting action of the SOD.
Keywords: Superoxide Dismutase, Reactive Oxygen Species, Quinolones, Copper Complexes, sulfonamide, imidazole.
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