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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Jul 1;403(1):59-62.

Action spectra for the photoconsumption of oxygen by human ocular lipofuscin and lipofuscin extracts.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, Jan Zurzycki Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland.


The action spectra for the photoconsumption of oxygen by lipofuscin isolated from human retinal pigment epithelium cells and liposomal suspensions containing extracts of lipofuscin are reported. The lipofuscin and lipofuscin extract action spectra are similar, demonstrating the phototoxic constituents of lipofuscin are present in the lipofuscin solvent extract. 2-[2,6-Dimethyl-8-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-1E,3E,5E,7E-octatetraenyl]-1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4-[4-methyl-6-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-1E,3E,5E-hexatrienyl]-pyridinium (A2E), present in both intact granules and the solvent extract, has been invoked as an important contributor to the phototoxicity of lipofuscin. The action spectrum for oxygen photoconsumption by A2E follows its absorption spectrum but does not resemble the action spectrum for photoconsumption of oxygen by lipofuscin granules or lipofuscin extract. These results combined with recently reported experimental studies on the aerobic photoreactivity of A2E indicate that it is not a major contributor to the phototoxicity of lipofuscin.

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