Zn2+-glycerophosphocholine cholinephosphodiesterase, responsible for the conversion of glycerophosphocholine into glycerol and phosphocholine, was inactivated during incubation with ascorbic acid at 38°C. The inclusion of copper ions or Fe2+ accelerated the ascorbateinduced inactivation, with Cu2+ or Cu+ being much more effective than Fe2+, suggestive of ascorbate-mediated oxidation. Dehydroascorbic acid had no effect on the phosphodiesterase, but H2O2 inactivated the enzyme in a concentration-dependent manner. Also, the enzyme was inactivated partially by a superoxide anion-generating system but not an HOCI generator. In support of involvement of H2O2 in the ascorbate action, catalase and superoxide dismutase expressed a complete and a partial protection, respectively. However, hydroxy radical scavengers such as mannitol, benzoate, or dimethyl sulfoxide were incapable of preventing the ascorbate action, excluding the participation of extraneous .OH. Although p-nitrophenylphosphocholine exhibited a modest protection against the ascorbate action, a remarkable protection was expressed by amino acids, especially by histidine. In addition, imidazole, an electron donor, showed a partial protection. Separately, when Cu2+-induced inactivation of the phosphodiesterase was compared with the ascorbate-mediated one, the protection and pH studies indicate that the mechanism for the ascorbate action is different from that for the Cu2+ action. Here, it is proposed that Zn2+-glycerophosphocholine cholinephosphodiesterase is one of brain membrane proteins susceptible to oxidative inactivation.