<chemistry> Term used interchangeably for the superoxide anion or the weak acid HO2(.).

Superoxide is generated both by prokaryotes and eukaryotes and is an important product of the metabolic burst of neutrophil leucocytes. A very active oxygen species, it can cause substantial damage and may be responsible for the inactivation of plasma antiproteases that contributes to the pathogenesis of emphysema.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)