The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement

Ekaterina Dadachova, Ruth A. Bryan, Robertha C. Howell, Andrew D. Schweitzer, Philip Aisen, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Melanized microorganisms are often found in environments with very high background radiation levels such as in nuclear reactor cooling pools and the destroyed reactor in Chernobyl. These findings and the laboratory observations of the resistance of melanized fungi to ionizing radiation suggest a role for this pigment in radioprotection. We hypothesized that the radioprotective properties of melanin in microorganisms result from a combination of physical shielding and quenching of cytotoxic free radicals. We have investigated the radioprotective properties of melanin by subjecting the human pathogenic fungi Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum in their melanized and non-melanized forms to sublethal and lethal doses of radiation of up to 8 kGy. The contribution of chemical composition, free radical presence, spatial arrangement, and Compton scattering to the radioprotective properties of melanin was investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography, electron spin resonance, transmission electron microscopy, and autoradiographic techniques. Melanin protected fungi against ionizing radiation and its radioprotective properties were a function of its chemical composition, free radical quenching, and spherical spatial arrangement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Pages192-199
Number of pages8
Volume21
Edition2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Fingerprint

Melanins
Fungi
Free Radicals
Ionizing radiation
Ionizing Radiation
Chemical analysis
Microorganisms
Quenching
Nuclear Reactors
Background Radiation
Compton scattering
Histoplasma
Radiation
Cryptococcus neoformans
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
High performance liquid chromatography
Nuclear reactors
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Pigments
Shielding

Keywords

  • Compton scattering
  • Electron spin resonance
  • Fungi
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Melanin
  • Radioprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Oncology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Dadachova, E., Bryan, R. A., Howell, R. C., Schweitzer, A. D., Aisen, P., Nosanchuk, J. D., & Casadevall, A. (2008). The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement. In Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research (2 ed., Vol. 21, pp. 192-199) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2007.00430.x

The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement. / Dadachova, Ekaterina; Bryan, Ruth A.; Howell, Robertha C.; Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Aisen, Philip; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Casadevall, Arturo.

Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research. Vol. 21 2. ed. 2008. p. 192-199.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dadachova, E, Bryan, RA, Howell, RC, Schweitzer, AD, Aisen, P, Nosanchuk, JD & Casadevall, A 2008, The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement. in Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research. 2 edn, vol. 21, pp. 192-199. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2007.00430.x
Dadachova E, Bryan RA, Howell RC, Schweitzer AD, Aisen P, Nosanchuk JD et al. The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement. In Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research. 2 ed. Vol. 21. 2008. p. 192-199 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2007.00430.x
Dadachova, Ekaterina ; Bryan, Ruth A. ; Howell, Robertha C. ; Schweitzer, Andrew D. ; Aisen, Philip ; Nosanchuk, Joshua D. ; Casadevall, Arturo. / The radioprotective properties of fungal melanin are a function of its chemical composition, stable radical presence and spatial arrangement. Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research. Vol. 21 2. ed. 2008. pp. 192-199
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