The Dye-Sensitized Photooxidation of Biological Macromolecules

  • John D. Spikes
  • Martha L. MacKnight
Conference paper

Abstract

Almost all kinds of biological macromolecules,including polysaccharides, nucleic acids and proteins, are oxidized upon illumination in the presence of sensitizing dyes and molecular oxygen. This phenomenon is termed “photodynamic action” by biologists (1). Although the degradation by light of dyed fabrics composed of cotton, silk, wool, etc., was known even in early times, the first formal description of the sensitized photooxidation of biological macromolecules was made by Professor von Tappeiner and his students in Munich in 1903. They reported that proteins (enzymes) such as diastase, invertase, papain and trypsin were inactivated on aerobic illumination in the presence of eosin (2). Since that time, photo-dynamic studies have been made on a large number of different proteins, mainly crystalline enzymes, as well as on polysaccharides and nucleic acids.

Keywords

Cellulose Histidine Porphyrin Pyrimidine Uracil 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Spikes
    • 1
  • Martha L. MacKnight
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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