Antioxidants specifically addressed to mitochondria have been studied to determine if they can decelerate senescence of organisms. For this purpose, a project has been established with participation of several research groups from Russia and some other countries. This paper summarizes the first results of the project. A new type of compounds (SkQs) comprising plastoquinone (an antioxidant moiety), a penetrating cation, and a decane or pentane linker has been synthesized. Using planar bilayer phospholipid membrane (BLM), we selected SkQ derivatives with the highest permeability, namely plastoquinonyl-decyl-triphenylphosphonium (SkQ1), plastoquinonyl-decyl-rhodamine 19 (SkQR1), and methylplastoquinonyldecyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ3). Anti- and prooxidant properties of these substances and also of ubiquinonyl-decyl-triphenylphosphonium (MitoQ) were tested in aqueous solution, detergent micelles, liposomes, BLM, isolated mitochondria, and cell cultures. In mitochondria, micromolar cationic quinone derivatives were found to be prooxidants, but at lower (sub-micromolar) concentrations they displayed antioxidant activity that decreases in the series SkQ1=SkQR1>SkQ3>MitoQ. SkQ1 was reduced by mitochondrial respiratory chain, i.e. it is a rechargeable antioxidant. Nanomolar SkQ1 specifically prevented oxidation of mitochondrial cardiolipin. In cell cultures, SkQR1, a fluorescent SkQ derivative, stained only one type of organelles, namely mitochondria. Extremely low concentrations of SkQ1 or SkQR1 arrested H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis in human fibroblasts and HeLa cells. Higher concentrations of SkQ are required to block necrosis initiated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the fungus Podospora anserina, the crustacean Ceriodaphnia affinis, Drosophila, and mice, SkQ1 prolonged lifespan, being especially effective at early and middle stages of aging. In mammals, the effect of SkQs on aging was accompanied by inhibition of development of such age-related diseases and traits as cataract, retinopathy, glaucoma, balding, canities, osteoporosis, involution of the thymus, hypothermia, torpor, peroxidation of lipids and proteins, etc. SkQ1 manifested a strong therapeutic action on some already pronounced retinopathies, in particular, congenital retinal dysplasia. With drops containing 250 nM SkQ1, vision was restored to 67 of 89 animals (dogs, cats, and horses) that became blind because of a retinopathy. Instillation of SkQ1-containing drops prevented the loss of sight in rabbits with experimental uveitis and restored vision to animals that had already become blind. A favorable effect of the same drops was also achieved in experimental glaucoma in rabbits. Moreover, the SkQ1 pretreatment of rats significantly decreased the H(2)O(2) or ischemia-induced arrhythmia of the isolated heart. SkQs strongly reduced the damaged area in myocardial infarction or stroke and prevented the death of animals from kidney ischemia. In p53(-/-) mice, 5 nmol/kgxday SkQ1 decreased the ROS level in the spleen and inhibited appearance of lymphomas to th...
Emission of methyl benzoate, one of the most abundant scent compounds of bee-pollinated snapdragon flowers, occurs in a rhythmic manner, with maximum emission during the day, and coincides with the foraging activity of bumblebees. Rhythmic emission of methyl benzoate displays a "free-running" cycle in the absence of environmental cues (in continuous dark or continuous light), indicating the circadian nature of diurnal rhythmicity. Methyl benzoate is produced in upper and lower snapdragon petal lobes by enzymatic methylation of benzoic acid in the reaction catalyzed by S -adenosyl-L -methionine:benzoic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (BAMT). When a detailed time-course analysis of BAMT activity in upper and lower petal lobes during a 48-hr period was performed, high BAMT activity was found at night as well as in continuous darkness, indicating that the BAMT activity is not an oscillation-determining factor. Analysis of the level of benzoic acid during a 24-hr period revealed oscillations in the amount of benzoic acid during the daily light/dark cycle that were retained in continuous darkness. These data clearly show that the total amount of substrate (benzoic acid) in the cell is involved in the regulation of the rhythmic emission of methyl benzoate. Our results also suggest that similar molecular mechanisms are involved in the regulation of methyl benzoate production in diurnally (snapdragon) and nocturnally (tobacco and petunia) emitting plants. INTRODUCTIONFlowers of many plant species attract pollinators by producing different complex mixtures of volatile compounds that give each species a unique and characteristic fragrance. Such volatile compounds emitted from flowers may function as both long-distance and short-distance attractants and play a prominent role in the localization and selection of flowers by insects, especially in moth-pollinated flowers, which are detected and visited at night (Dobson, 1994). Plants need to, and often do, vary the floral scent they emit during the life span of the flower, both in total output and in specific composition. These changes occur in relation to flower age (Tollsten, 1993;Pichersky et al., 1994;Wang et al., 1997; Dudareva et al., 1998Dudareva et al., , 2000, pollination status (Tollsten, 1993; Schiestl et al., 1997), environmental conditions (Jakobsen and Olsen, 1994), and diurnal endogenous rhythms (summarized by Dudareva et al., 1999). In addition to reduced costs for scent production, these intraspecific changes in floral fragrances also can influence the activity of flower visitors. For example, a quantitative and/or qualitative change of floral bouquets after pollination might lead to a lower attractiveness of these flowers and help to direct pollinators to the unpollinated flowers, thereby maximizing the reproductive success of the plant.It is an evolutionary advantage that plants have scent output at maximal levels only when potential pollinators are active. Plants that are pollinated by insects with maximum activity during the day (e.g., bees) show a diurnal...
Plastoquinone, a very effective electron carrier and antioxidant of chloroplasts, was conjugated with decyltriphenylphosphonium to obtain a cation easily penetrating through membranes. This cation, called SkQ1, is specifically targeted to mitochondria by electrophoresis in the electric field formed by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The respiratory chain also regenerates reduced SkQ1H(2) from its oxidized form that appears as a result of the antioxidant activity of SkQ1H(2). SkQ1H(2) prevents oxidation of cardiolipin, a mitochondrial phospholipid that is especially sensitive to attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In cell cultures, SkQ1 and its analog plastoquinonyl decylrhodamine 19 (SkQR1) arrest H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis. When tested in vivo, SkQs (i) prolong the lifespan of fungi, crustaceans, insects, fish, and mice, (ii) suppress appearance of a large number of traits typical for age-related senescence (cataract, retinopathies, achromotrichia, osteoporosis, lordokyphosis, decline of the immune system, myeloid shift of blood cells, activation of apoptosis, induction of β-galactosidase, phosphorylation of H2AX histones, etc.) and (iii) lower tissue damage and save the lives of young animals after treatments resulting in kidney ischemia, rhabdomyolysis, heart attack, arrhythmia, and stroke. We suggest that the SkQs reduce mitochondrial ROS and, as a consequence, inhibit mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, an obligatory step of execution of programs responsible for both senescence and fast "biochemical suicide" of an organism after a severe metabolic crisis.
Mitochondria-targeted cationic plastoquinone derivative SkQ1 (10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium) has been investigated as a potential tool for treating a number of ROS-related ocular diseases. In OXYS rats suffering from a ROS-induced progeria, very small amounts of SkQ1 (50 nmol/kg per day) added to food were found to prevent development of age-induced cataract and retinopathies of the eye, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation in skeletal muscles, as well as a decrease in bone mineralization. Instillation of drops of 250 nM SkQ1 reversed cataract and retinopathies in 3-12-month-old (but not in 24-month-old) OXYS rats. In rabbits, experimental uveitis and glaucoma were induced by immunization with arrestin and injections of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose to the eye anterior sector, respectively. Uveitis was found to be prevented or reversed by instillation of 250 nM SkQ1 drops (four drops per day). Development of glaucoma was retarded by drops of 5 microM SkQ1 (one drop daily). SkQ1 was tested in veterinarian practice. A totally of 271 animals (dogs, cats, and horses) suffering from retinopathies, uveitis, conjunctivitis, and cornea diseases were treated with drops of 250 nM SkQ1. In 242 cases, positive therapeutic effect was obvious. Among animals suffering from retinopathies, 89 were blind. In 67 cases, vision returned after SkQ1 treatment. In ex vivo studies of cultivated posterior retina sector, it was found that 20 nM SkQ1 strongly decreased macrophagal transformation of the retinal pigmented epithelial cells, an effect which might explain some of the above SkQ1 activities. It is concluded that low concentrations of SkQ1 are promising in treating retinopathies, cataract, uveitis, glaucoma, and some other ocular diseases.
In snapdragon flowers, the volatile ester methyl benzoate is the most abundant scent compound. It is synthesized by and emitted from only the upper and lower lobes of petals, where pollinators (bumblebees) come in contact with the flower. Emission of methyl benzoate occurs in a rhythmic manner, with maximum emission during the day, which correlates with pollinator activity. A novel S-adenosyl-l-methionine:benzoic acid carboxyl methyl transferase (BAMT), the final enzyme in the biosynthesis of methyl benzoate, and its corresponding cDNA have been isolated and characterized. The complete amino acid sequence of the BAMT protein has only low levels of sequence similarity to other previously characterized proteins, including plant O-methyl transferases. During the life span of the flower, the levels of methyl benzoate emission, BAMT activity, BAMT gene expression, and the amounts of BAMT protein and benzoic acid are developmentally and differentially regulated. Linear regression analysis revealed that production of methyl benzoate is regulated by the amount of benzoic acid and the amount of BAMT protein, which in turn is regulated at the transcriptional level.
Senescence-accelerated OXYS rats are an experimental model of accelerated aging that was established from wistar stock via selection for susceptibility to cataractogenic effects of a galactose-rich diet and via subsequent inbreeding of highly susceptible rats. Currently, we have the 102nd generation of OXYS rats with spontaneously developing cataract and accelerated senescence syndrome, which means early development of a phenotype similar to human geriatric disorders, including accelerated brain aging. in recent years, our group found strong evidence that OXYS rats are a promising model for studies of the mechanisms of brain aging and neurodegenerative processes similar to those seen in Alzheimer disease (AD). The manifestation of behavioral alterations and learning and memory deficits develop since the fourth week of age, i.e., simultaneously with first signs of neurodegeneration detectable on magnetic resonance imaging and under a light microscope. in addition, impaired long-term potentiation has been demonstrated in OXYS rats by the age of 3 months. with age, neurodegenerative changes in the brain of OXYS rats become amplified. we have shown that this deterioration happens against the background of overproduction of amyloid precursor protein (AβPP), accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ), and hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein in the hippocampus and cortex. The development of AMDlike retinopathy in OXYS rats is also accompanied by increased accumulation of Aβ in the retina. These published data suggest that the OXYS strain may serve as a spontaneous rat model of AD-like pathology and could help to decipher the pathogenesis of AD.
The amyloid cascade hypothesis posits that deposition of the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in the brain is a key event in the initiation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nonetheless, it now seems increasingly unlikely that amyloid toxicity is the cause of sporadic AD, which leads to cognitive decline. Here, using accelerated-senescence nontransgenic OXYS rats, we confirmed that aggregation of Aβ is a later event in AD-like pathology. We showed that an age-dependent increase in the levels of Aβ1–42 and extracellular Aβ deposits in the brain of OXYS rats occur later than do synaptic losses, neuronal cell death, mitochondrial structural abnormalities, and hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein. We identified the variants of the genes that are strongly associated with the risk of either late-onset or early-onset AD, including App, Apoe4, Bace1, Psen1, Psen2, and Picalm. We found that in OXYS rats nonsynonymous SNPs were located only in the genes Casp3 and Sorl1. Thus, we present proof that OXYS rats may be a model of sporadic AD. It is possible that multiple age-associated pathological processes may precede the toxic amyloid accumulation, which in turn triggers the final stage of the sporadic form of AD and becomes a hallmark event of the disease.
We previously showed that mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 (plastoquinonyl-decyltriphenylphosphonium) at nanomolar concentrations is capable of preventing and slowing down some cerebral dysfunctions in accelerated-senescence OXYS rats. Here we demonstrate that OXYS rats develop behavior, learning, and memory deficits against a background of neurodegeneration signs detected by magnetic resonance tomography and amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Long-term treatment with SkQ1 (250 nmol/kg body weight daily from the age of 1.5 to 23 months) reduced the age-related alterations in behavior and spatial memory deficit in Morris water maze in OXYS and Wistar rats. Furthermore, this is the first report that SkQ1 treatment slows down pathological accumulation of AβPP, Aβ, and hyperphosphorylation of tau-protein in OXYS rats, as well as age-dependent changes in healthy Wistar rats. Our results support the possibility of using the OXYS strain as a rat model of AD-like pathology. It seems probable that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 can be a good prophylactic strategy to maintain brain health and to treat AD.
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