The photodynamic effect of rose bengal on proteins of the mitochondrial inner membrane.

Cecilia R Giulivi, M. Sarcansky, E. Rosenfeld, A. Boveris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Photodynamic action promoted by Rose Bengal was evaluated in solutions of unsaturated fatty acids or histidine, and on beef heart submitochondrial particles. Rose Bengal-promoted photooxidation of histidine was mainly due to the opening up of the imidazole ring by singlet oxygen. Photosensitization of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) resulted in oxygen consumption and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) formation, the extent of which was linearly related to the increasing degree of unsaturation. Photosensitization of submitochondrial particles caused oxygen consumption and TBARS production. These processes involved two different reaction components: during the first, most of the mitochondrial proteins were inactivated, the most sensitive being succinate dehydrogenase and cytochrome c. The values for the rate ratios of [TBARS] formation/[O2] consumption for the first and second phase were 0.36 and 1.32%, respectively, pointing to a larger contribution of lipid peroxidation during the second phase. The calculation of the rate constants for reaction of singlet oxygen with mitochondrial proteins suggests that singlet oxygen is more reactive towards proteins than to PUFA. The biological role of this selectivity is discussed in terms of the mitochondria as one of the first targets for photosensitized reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics


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