Tocochromanols, plastoquinol, and other biological prenyllipids as singlet oxygen quenchers-determination of singlet oxygen quenching rate constants and oxidation products

Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Sep 15;45(6):920-8. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2008.06.025. Epub 2008 Jun 30.


Singlet oxygen quenching rate constants for tocopherol and tocotrienol homologues have been determined in organic solvents of different polarities, as well as for other biological prenyllipids such as plastoquinol, ubiquinol, and alpha-tocopherolquinol. The obtained results showed that the quenching activity of tocochromanols was mainly due to the chromanol ring of the molecule and the activity increased with the number of the methyl groups in the ring and solvent polarity. Among prenylquinols, alpha-tocopherolquinol was the most active scavenger of singlet oxygen followed by ubiquinol and plastoquinol. The oxidation products of tocopherols were identified as 8a-hydroperoxy-tocopherones which are converted to the corresponding tocopherolquinones under acidic conditions. The primary oxidation products of prenylquinols, containing unsaturated side chains, were the corresponding prenylquinones that were further oxidized to hydroxyl side-chain derivatives. In the case of plastochromanol, the gamma-tocotrienol homologue found in some seed oils, mainly the hydroxyl derivatives were formed, although 8a-hydroperoxy-gamma-tocopherones were also formed to a minor extent, both from plastochromanol and from its hydroxyl, side-chain derivatives. The obtained results were discussed in terms of the activity of different prenyllipids as singlet oxygen scavengers in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromans / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Kinetics
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plastoquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Plastoquinone / chemistry
  • Singlet Oxygen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Chromans
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • plastoquinol
  • 2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-1-hydroxychroman
  • Plastoquinone