Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Singlet oxygen: Stable research model for an unstable target

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Researchers provide new insights about singlet oxygen and set the stage for better understanding of this highly reactive and challenging substance. Singlet oxygen is an electronically excited state of oxygen that is less stable than normal oxygen. Its high reactivity has enabled its use in photodynamic therapy, in which light is used in combination with a photosensitizing drug to generate large amounts of singlet oxygen to kill cancer cells or various pathogens.

These schematic drawings show how researchers applied laser pulses to HCN channels tagged with a fluorescent photosensitizer to observe the effects on these channels of singlet oxygen, a highly reactive form of oxygen that plays a role in a range of biological processes including photosynthesis and skin cancer/aging.
Credit: Gao et al., 2014

A study in The Journal of General Physiology provides new insights about singlet oxygen and sets the stage for better understanding of this highly reactive and challenging substance.

Singlet oxygen is an electronically excited state of oxygen that is less stable than normal oxygen. Its high reactivity has enabled its use in photodynamic therapy, in which light is used in combination with a photosensitizing drug to generate large amounts of singlet oxygen to kill cancer cells or various pathogens.

Light-generated singlet oxygen also plays a role in a range of biological processes. It is produced during photosynthesis in plants, for example, and its production in skin cells has been linked to aging and cancer development. Moreover, small amounts of singlet oxygen produced during metabolic reactions can act as a local signaling factor that oxidizes and modifies target molecules, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.

Lei Zhou and colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University unveil a new technique to show how singlet oxygen modifies HCN channels -- "pacemaker channels" that contribute to memory, heart rate, pain sensation, and other functions. By applying millisecond laser light pulses to HCN channels tagged with a fluorescent photosensitizer, Zhou and colleagues were able to elicit the production of small amounts of singlet oxygen in a precise location and monitor its effects on the channels in open and closed states. Their results indicate that some of its effects on HCN channels are state specific and involve specific modifications near the activation gate.

The findings not only help explain how singlet oxygen functions, they introduce a method that can be used for further exploration of this important signaling factor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gao, W., et al. State-dependent and site-directed photodynamic transformation of HCN2 channel by singlet oxygen. J. Gen. Physiol, April 2014 DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201311112

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Singlet oxygen: Stable research model for an unstable target." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414092113.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2014, April 14). Singlet oxygen: Stable research model for an unstable target. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414092113.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Singlet oxygen: Stable research model for an unstable target." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414092113.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins