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Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Sep-Oct;84(5):1091-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00394.x. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Mitochondrial signaling in mammalian cells activated by red and near-IR radiation.

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Institute of Laser and Information Technologies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Troitsk, Moscow Region, Russia.


Mitochondrial signaling is an information channel between the mitochondrial respiratory chain and the nucleus for the transduction signals regarding the functional state of the mitochondria. The present review examines the question whether radiation of visible and near-IR (IR-A) radiation can activate this retrograde-type cellular signaling pathway. Experimental data about modulation of elements of mitochondrial retrograde signaling by the irradiation (mitochondrial membrane potential DeltaPsi(m), reactive oxygen species ROS, Ca(2+), NO, pH(i), fission-fusion homeostasis of mitochondria) are reviewed. The terminal enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain cytochrome c oxidase is considered as the photoacceptor. Functions of cytochrome c oxidase as a signal generator as well as a signal transducer in irradiated cells are outlined.

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