Catalase is a tetrameric hemoprotein which degrades H2O2. Human catalase is a heme-containing peroxisomal enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen; it is implicated in ethanol metabolism, inflammation, apoptosis, aging and cancer (1). Although catalase is a major intracellular antioxidant, the expression of the human catalase gene appears to be limited in the airway epithelium, making these cells vulnerable to oxidant stress (2). Transgenic mice that overexpress human catalase localized to the peroxisome, the nucleus, or mitochondria showed cardiac pathology and cataract development were delayed, oxidative damage was reduced, H2O2 production and H2O2-induced aconitase inactivation were attenuated, and the development of mitochondrial deletions was reduced (3).
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