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J Biochem. 1988 Nov;104(5):761-6.

Comparison of fluorescence characteristics of products of peroxidation of membrane phospholipids with those of products derived from reaction of malonaldehyde with glycine as a model of lipofuscin fluorescent substances.

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Department of Biochemistry, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo.


The fluorescence characteristics of product (I), formed during the lipid peroxidation of rat liver phosphatidylcholine liposomes containing glycine, and fluorescent product (II), derived from the reaction of malonaldehyde with glycine, were examined to elucidate the mechanism of fluorescent chromophore formation. Fluorescent product (I) had a fluorescence emission maximum at 430 nm when excited at 360 nm; its fluorescence intensity decreases in alkaline medium, but is restored by readjustment of pH to neutrality. In contrast, fluorescent product (II) exhibited an emission maximum at 458 nm, and the fluorescence was quenched at acidic pH. The fluorescent substances formed during the lipid peroxidation of hemoglobin-free human erythrocyte ghost membranes had similar fluorescence characteristics to product (I). Gel filtration experiments showed that molecular size of fluorescent product (I) was larger than that of fluorescent product (II). The thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances released from peroxidizing liposomal phospholipids had a larger molecular size than malonaldehyde, and produced little or no fluorescence with glycine. It is concluded that the precursor of the fluorescent product formed during the lipid peroxidation of membrane phospholipids differs from malonaldehyde. The mechanism of the formation of blue emitting fluorescent material, believed to be a component of lipofuscin, seems to involve peroxidized phospholipids of the membrane.

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