Academic Commons

Articles

Sequestration of ubiquitous dietary derived pigments enables mitochondrial light sensing

Zhang, Dan; Robinson, Kiera; Mihai, Doina M.; Washington, Ilyas

Animals alter their physiological states in response to their environment. We show that the introduction of a chlorophyll metabolite, a light-absorbing pigment widely consumed in human diets, to Caenorhabditis elegans results in animals whose fat mass can be modulated by exposure to light, despite the worm consuming the same amount of food. In the presence of the chlorophyll metabolite, exposing the worms to light increased adenosine triphosphate, reduced oxidative damage, and increased median life spans, without an effect on animal reproduction. Mice fed a dietary metabolite of chlorophyll and exposed to light, over several months, showed reductions in systemic inflammation as measured by plasma α-macroglobulin. We propose that dietary chlorophyll metabolites can enable mitochondria to use light as an environmental cue, by absorbing light and transferring the energy to mitochondrial coenzyme Q.

Files

Also Published In

Title
Scientific Reports
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1038/srep34320

More About This Work

Academic Units
Ophthalmology
Published Here
September 15, 2017
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.