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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;24(1):36-43.

Peroxidase and photoprotective activities of magnesium protoporphyrin IX.

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Department of Life Science and Basic Science Institute for Cell Damage Control, Sogang University, Seoul 121-742, Republic of Korea.


Magnesium-protoporphyrin IX (Mg-PPn), which is formed through chelation of protoporphyrin IX (PPn) with Mg ion by Mg chelatase, is the first intermediate for the (bacterio)chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway. Interestingly, Mg-PPn provides peroxidase activity (approximately 4 × 10(-2) units/micrometer) detoxifying H2O2 in the presence of electron donor(s). The peroxidase activity was not detected unless PPn was chelated with Mg ion. Mg-PPn was found freely diffusible through the membrane of Escherichia coli and Vibrio vulnificus, protecting the cells from H2O2. Furthermore, unlike photosensitizers such as tetracycline and PPn, Mg-PPn did not show any phototoxicity, but rather it protected cell from ultraviolet (UV)-A-induced stress. Thus, the exogenous Mg-PPn could be used as an antioxidant and a UV block to protect cells from H2O2 stress and UV-induced damage.

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