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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Synthesis and Evaluation of Telluride Antioxidants for the Study of Oxidative Damage to Mitochondrial DNA

Mutations to mitochondrial DNA caused by reactive oxygen species have been associated with a wide range of diseases and disorders including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even natural processes such as senescence. Organotellurides have been demonstrated to be powerful antioxidants, and could serve as probes to better understand oxidative damage to DNA. Saccharomyces Cerivisiae (brewer’s yeast) is an ideal experimental organism to evaluate the efficacy of a particular antioxidant because it is facultatively anaerobic. Therefore, when plated on selective media, yeast with impaired mitochondrial function can be identified. Saccharomyces assays have been used to establish a consistent frequency of spontaneous respiration loss, and will be used for the subsequent testing of the antioxidant’s ability to prevent oxidative damage to DNA. Progress toward the synthesis of cationic, lipophilic, water-soluble organotelluride antioxidants designed to undergo transport into yeast mitochondria has been made. A series of telluride compounds has been analyzed for antioxidant capability using cyclic voltammetry.

Presenter: Trevor O'Leary (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Chemistry
Location: 28 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)

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