Oxidative damage to plasmenyl-type lipids contributes to decreased membrane barrier function, loss of membrane structure and formation of nonlamellar defects in membrane bilayers. Previous results from this laboratory have shown that membrane-soluble sensitizers (e.g. zinc phthalocyanine and bacteriochlorophyll a) mediate the photooxidation of palmitoyl plasmenylcholine (1-O-alk-1′-Z-enyl-2-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; PPlsC) vesicles with the subsequent creation of lamellar defect structures, vesicle contents leakage and membrane–membrane fusion. Because plasmalogen lipids are significant components of sarcoplasma and myelin membranes, we sought to characterize the products of their photooxidation. This study focuses on the photooxidation of PPlsC vesicles in the presence of the water-soluble sensitizer, aluminum phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate (AlPcS44−). Attack of photogenerated singlet oxygen on the 1-O-alkenyl ether linkage of PPlsC lipids was expected to generate dioxetane- and ene-type photoproducts. The products formed during continuous aerobic irradiation (28 mW/cm2, (610 nm) of PPlsC vesicles in the presence of AlPcS44− were separated via reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection (ECD) or evaporative light-escattering detection (ELSD). Photooxidized dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine–cholesterol vesicles (control) were used to optimize the HPLC-ECD conditions, using 7α-hydroperoxycholesterol as standard. HPLC-ECD was found to be most sensitive for PPlsC hydroperoxides, whereas HPLC-ELSD was more sensitive for nonhydroperoxide photoproducts. The three major photoproducts formed during vesicle irradiation were isolated via preparative HPLC and then characterized by 1H–nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. 1-Formyl-2-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and 1-hydroxy-2-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine were identified as dioxetane cleavage products that coeluted at ∼3 min. The second fraction (retention time [RT] = 48 min) was identified as a PPlsC allylic hydroperoxide. The third photoproduct, eluting at RT = 64 min, is tentatively identified as an oxidation product arising from allylic hydroperoxide degradation via Hock rearrangement or free radical decomposition.
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Vol. 78 • No. 4