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Issue 12, 2010
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Mechanism of photooxidation of folic acid sensitized by unconjugated pterins

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Folic acid, or pteroyl-L-glutamic acid (PteGlu), is a precursor of coenzymes involved in the metabolism of nucleotides and amino acids. PteGlu is composed of three moieties: a 6-methylpterin (Mep) residue, a p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) residue, and a glutamic acid (Glu) residue. Accumulated evidence indicates that photolysis of PteGlu leads to increased risk of several pathologies. Thus, a study of PteGlu photodegradation can have significant ramifications. When an air-equilibrated aqueous solution of PteGlu is exposed to UV-A radiation, the rate of the degradation increases with irradiation time. The mechanism involved in this “auto-photo-catalytic” effect was investigated in aqueous solutions using a variety of tools. Whereas PteGlu is photostable under anaerobic conditions, it is converted into 6-formylpterin (Fop) and p-aminobenzoyl-L-glutamic acid (PABA-Glu) in the presence of oxygen. As the reaction proceeds and enough Fop accumulates in the solution, a photosensitized electron-transfer process starts, where Fop photoinduces the oxidation of PteGlu to Fop, and H2O2 is formed. This process also takes place with other pterins as photosensitizers. The results are discussed with the context of previous mechanisms for processes photosensitized by pterins, and their biological implications are evaluated.

Graphical abstract: Mechanism of photooxidation of folic acid sensitized by unconjugated pterins

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jul 2010, accepted on 27 Aug 2010 and first published on 05 Oct 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0PP00210K
Citation: Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010,9, 1604-1612
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    Mechanism of photooxidation of folic acid sensitized by unconjugated pterins

    M. L. Dántola, M. P. Denofrio, B. Zurbano, C. S. Gimenez, P. R. Ogilby, C. Lorente and A. H. Thomas, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010, 9, 1604
    DOI: 10.1039/C0PP00210K

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