From free radicals to electronically excited species.Free Radic Biol Med 1995; 19(1):103-14FR
Biologically/medically important compounds, when metabolized, can generate free radicals from which electrically excited products--often in the triplet state--are generated. Peroxidases are particularly apt to catalyze such processes, which usually entail oxidations by electron transfer. In the latter case, the chemiluminescence may derive from peroxyl and alkoxyl radicals or excited states derived from dioxetanes. Besides peroxidases, prostaglandin-H synthase and lipoxygenase may catalyze the formation of excited carbonyls. The pronounced similarity in the chemical behavior and reactivity of radicals and excited species derives in part from the biradical nature of the latter. Usually in analyzing the biological effects of xenobiotics, only radicals and/or reactive ground state products have been considered. However, in such processes the generation of excited species is possible, which should be tested for by direct and/or sensitized emission or by photochemical transformation.