INTERVIEW Etelvino José Henriques Bechara: On fireflies and mental illnesses

Pesquisa FAPESP

http://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/en/2015/03/23/etelvino-jose-henriques-bechara-on-fireflies-and-mental-illnesses

INTERVIEW
Etelvino José Henriques Bechara: On fireflies and mental illnesses

Chemist explains how highly reactive compounds known as free radicals act in cells, psychiatric disorders and glowing termite mounds

CARLOS FIORAVANTI | ED. 229 | MARCH 2015

While awaiting the response to his request for reinstatement to the University of São Paulo Chemistry Institute (IQ-USP), Etelvino Bechara said he had been without a laboratory, money with which to pursue research and students with whom to divvy up the work.  Despite all that, he never stopped exploring the paths that opened before him – ever since leaving Caparaó, the small town in Minas Gerais State where he was born and learned to read and write with adults at night school under lantern light.  On a day in

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Superoxide and nitric oxide induced nitrosative processes may follow unusual and different dynamic behaviors

by José Carlos Toledo

Possibly, most pathophysiological processes involving the radicals nitric oxide (NO•) and superoxide (O₂•–) depend on their simultaneous production and their favorable co-reaction to produce peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite is an oxidant itself but in the presence of carbon dioxide it gives origin to radical species such as carbonate anion (CO₃•–) and nitrogen dioxide (NO₂•) radicals, both capable of stimulating oxidative and nitrosative events that damage biomolecules. The interplay of NO• and O₂•– in biological environments is complex, though. Using a fluorescent probe molecule to

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Visible, not only UV, light may also damage your hair and skin

by Mauricio Baptista

On the recent years, we aimed to understand the effects of visible light on skin and hair. We showed that melanin is able to photosensitize the generation of singlet oxygen both in the UVA (355nm) and in the visible (532nm) with similar yields and that the photosensitization of melanin forming singlet oxygen is the main cause of damage in hairs under exposition to visible light [1]. These results also suggest the possible role of visible light in damaging human skin, similarly to the well accepted effect of UVA light. In order to understand the effects

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More Tequila, please…: Organic nitrogen acquisition in Agave tequilana from endophytic bacteria by oxidative nitrogen scavenging mechanism

Redoxoma Highlights:
 • Superoxide and nitric oxide induced nitrosative processes may follow unusual and different dynamic behaviors
 • Visible, not only UV, light may also damage your hair and skin
 • More Tequila, please…: Organic nitrogen acquisition in Agave tequilana from endophytic bacteria by oxidative nitrogen scavenging mechanism
 • A novel oxidative pathway for human SOD1 aggregation is revealed and may contribute to ALS pathology
 • A novel ubiquitin-related marker in oxidative stress response

by Paolo Di Mascio

Historically, it was thought that plants derived all nitrogen (N) nutrition from the inorganic forms of N, NO3– and NH4+. However, it is now known that the principal form of N entering soils that do not receive inorganic fertilizer is organic N derived from microbial breakdown of organic matter, including amino acids, di and tri-peptides, DNA and proteins. Plants form symbiotic associations with endophytic bacteria

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A novel oxidative pathway for human SOD1 aggregation is revealed and may contribute to ALS pathology

by Ohara Augusto

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, paralysis and death. Most cases of ALS are sporadic but about 10% of the cases have a genetic basis.ALS-causing mutations have been identified in several genes, but the mutation of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1) is the most studied and responsible for about 20% of the familial cases. SOD1-linked ALS patients exhibit pathology and symptoms similar to those of sporadic ALS patients, leading to the hypothesis that both forms of the disease have a common pathogenic mechanism. This hypothesis led to many advances in

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A novel ubiquitin-related marker in oxidative stress response

by Marilene Demasi

Protein polyubiquitination was first described as a post-translational modification to direct proteins for degradation. The ubiquitin molecule is covalently bound to the target protein and the polyubiquitin chain is created by successive attachments of ubiquitin through its carboxy-terminal Glycine mainly to Lysine48 (K48) residues of previously conjugated ubiquitin. Proteins tagged with a K48-linked polyubiquitin chain are directed for degradation. However, distinct ubiquitin chains are built up through other Lysine residues from ubiquitin, resulting in distinct structural patterns of ubiquitin complexes, which in most cases are unrelated to target protein degradation.

The

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Mitochondrial metabolism and central nervous system dysregulation govern an overeating but low energy conversion efficiency response to intermittent-feeding

The ideal type of diet is a long-sought goal that has not been fulfilled so far, both for preventive as well as therapeutic purposes. At the same time, caloric restriction has been well demonstrated to afford increase in lifespan in several species. Intermittent feeding has been used as a substitute for caloric restriction both by overweight or obese individuals (frequently without medical supervision) or, experimentally, as a mechanistical tool to understand the physiology of lifespan extension. These intermittently-fed animals, indeed display decreased body mass, but surprisingly overall caloric intake is similar to that of ad libitum-fed animals. Work performed by the CEPID-Redoxoma

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Photochemistry in the dark governs pathways for singlet oxygen generation

Excited species such as singlet molecular oxygen [O2(1Δg)] and triplet carbonyls are a less understood subgroup of oxygen-derived oxidants in BioMedicine. Their generation has been associated to the detection of ultraweak chemiluminescence in mammalian tissues and there is emerging evidence for their roles in pathophysiological situations. However, pathways accounting for their generation in vivo have remained obscure, limiting the assessment of their biological roles. In vitro, excited species arise from photochemical processes involving direct excitation by light. However, atypical photochemical processes not involving photoexcitation have been proposed

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