In the cold environments of the interstellar medium, a variety of molecules in which a hydrogen (H) atom has been replaced by its heavier isotope deuterium (D) can be found. From its emergence, life had to counteract the toxic action of many agents, which posed a constant threat to its development and propagation. Oxygen-reactive species are archaic toxicants that lead to protein damage and genomic instability. Most of the oxidative lesions involve cleavage of C-H bonds and H abstraction. According to free radical chemistry principles, the substitution of D for H in oxidation-sensitive positions of cellular components should confer protection against the oxidative attack without compromising the chemical identity of the compounds. Here, we show that deuterated nucleosides and proteins protect from oxidative damage. Our data suggest a new, subtle but likely role of D in terrestrial life's evolution in that its inclusion in critical biomolecules might have facilitated their resistance during the infinite generations of life entities, cells, and organisms.

Deuterium Incorporation Protects Cells from Oxidative Damage

Brigotti M.;Calcabrini C.;Turrini E.;Arfilli V.;Carnicelli D.;Lucarini M.;Mazzanti A.;Milelli A.;Righi V.;Fimognari C.
2019

Abstract

In the cold environments of the interstellar medium, a variety of molecules in which a hydrogen (H) atom has been replaced by its heavier isotope deuterium (D) can be found. From its emergence, life had to counteract the toxic action of many agents, which posed a constant threat to its development and propagation. Oxygen-reactive species are archaic toxicants that lead to protein damage and genomic instability. Most of the oxidative lesions involve cleavage of C-H bonds and H abstraction. According to free radical chemistry principles, the substitution of D for H in oxidation-sensitive positions of cellular components should confer protection against the oxidative attack without compromising the chemical identity of the compounds. Here, we show that deuterated nucleosides and proteins protect from oxidative damage. Our data suggest a new, subtle but likely role of D in terrestrial life's evolution in that its inclusion in critical biomolecules might have facilitated their resistance during the infinite generations of life entities, cells, and organisms.
OXIDATIVE MEDICINE AND CELLULAR LONGEVITY
Sestili P.; Brigotti M.; Calcabrini C.; Turrini E.; Arfilli V.; Carnicelli D.; Lucarini M.; Mazzanti A.; Milelli A.; Righi V.; Fimognari C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/716227
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