2015 年 135 巻 2 号 p. 191-196
Quinones play critical roles in biological systems, but are also regarded as a class of toxins that can cause oxidative stress in living cells, and the involvement of quinone-based reactive oxygen species in oxidative stress has been reported. In biological systems, quinones are reduced to semiquinone radicals by the enzyme NADPH:quinone reductase. Next, semiquinone radicals react with dissolved oxygen to form superoxide anion, which reacts with biological molecules to cause oxidative stress. On the other hand, chemiluminescence reagents such as luminol can emit chemiluminescence after oxidation by reactive oxygen species. Therefore, chemiluminescence reagents have been used widely to investigate reactive oxygen species. We have developed a sensitive and selective assay for quantifying quinones using luminol chemiluminescence. This chemiluminescence assay is based on the generation of reactive oxygen species through the redox reaction between quinone and dithiothreitol, a reductant, followed by detection of the generated reactive oxygen by luminol. Additionally, this assay can be used to quantify the toxic herbicide, paraquat, which produces reactive oxygen species in the same manner as quinones. This review describes the development of a sensitive and selective chemiluminescence assay for investigating quinones and paraquat by utilizing their ability to generate reactive oxygen species.