Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jun 20;134(24):10102-13. doi: 10.1021/ja301680m. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

How lipid unsaturation, peroxyl radical partitioning, and chromanol lipophilic tail affect the antioxidant activity of α-tocopherol: direct visualization via high-throughput fluorescence studies conducted with fluorogenic α-tocopherol analogues.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Center for Self Assembled Chemical Structures, McGill University, 801 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada.

Erratum in

  • J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Jan 30;135(4):1625.


The preparation of two highly sensitive fluorogenic α-tocopherol (TOH) analogues which undergo >30-fold fluorescence intensity enhancement upon reaction with peroxyl radicals is reported. The probes consist of a chromanol moiety coupled to the meso position of a BODIPY fluorophore, where the use of a methylene linker (BODIPY-2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-6-hydroxy-chroman adduct, H(2)B-PMHC) vs an ester linker (meso-methanoyl BODIPY-6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchromane-2-carboxylic acid, H(2)B-TOH) enables tuning their reactivity toward H-atom abstraction by peroxyl radicals. The development of a high-throughput fluorescence assay for monitoring kinetics of peroxyl radical reactions in liposomes is subsequently described where the evolution of the fluorescence intensity over time provides a rapid, facile method to conduct competitive kinetic studies in the presence of TOH and its analogues. A quantitative treatment is formulated for the temporal evolution of the intensity in terms of relative rate constants of H-atom abstraction (k(inh)) from the various tocopherol analogues. Combined, the new probes, the fluorescence assay, and the data analysis provide a new method to obtain, in a rapid, parallel format, relative antioxidant activities in phospholipid membranes. The method is exemplified with four chromanol-based antioxidant compounds differing in their aliphatic tails (TOH, PMHC, H(2)B-PMHC, and H(2)B-TOH). Studies were conducted in six different liposome solutions prepared from poly- and mono-unsaturated and saturated (fluid vs gel phase) lipids in the presence of either hydrophilic or lipophilic peroxyl radicals. A number of key insights into the chemistry of the TOH antioxidants in lipid membranes are provided: (1) The relative antioxidant activities of chromanols in homogeneous solution, arising from their inherent chemical reactivity, readily translate to the microheterogeneous environment at the water/lipid interface; thus similar values for k(inh)(H(2)B-PMHC)/k(inh)(H(2)B-TOH) in the range of 2-3 are recorded both in homogeneous solution and in liposome suspensions with hydrophilic or lipophilic peroxyl radicals. (2) The relative antioxidant activity between tocopherol analogues with the same inherent chemical reactivity but bearing short (PMHC) or long (TOH) aliphatic tails, k(inh)(PMHC)/k(inh)(TOH), is ~8 in the presence of hydrophilic peroxyl radicals, regardless of the nature of the lipid membrane into which they are embedded. (3) Antioxidants embedded in saturated lipids do not efficiently scavenge hydrophilic peroxyl radicals; under these conditions wastage reactions among peroxyl radicals become important, and this translates into larger times for antioxidant consumption. (4) Lipophilic peroxyl radicals show reduced discrimination between antioxidants bearing long and short aliphatic tails, with k(inh)(PMHC)/k(inh)(TOH) in the range of 3-4 for most lipid membranes. (5) Lipophilic peroxyl radicals are scavenged with the same efficiency by all four antioxidants studied, regardless of the nature of their aliphatic tail or the lipid membrane into which they are embedded. These data underpin the key role the lipid environment plays in modulating the rate of reaction of antioxidants characterized by similar inherent chemical reactivity (arising from a conserved chromanol moiety) but differing in their membrane mobility (structural differences in the lipophilic tail). Altogether, a novel, facile method of study, new insights, and a quantitative understanding on the critical role of lipid diversity in modulating antioxidant activity in the lipid milieu are reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center