Novel photoinduced squalene cyclic peroxide identified, detected, and quantified in human skin surface lipids

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Skin surface lipids (SSLs) form the first barrier that protects the human organism from external stressors, disruption of the homeostasis of SSLs can result in severe skin abnormalities. One of the main causes of this disruption is oxidative stress that is primarily due to SSLs oxidation. Squalene (SQ), the most abundant lipid among SSLs, was shown to first undergo singlet molecular oxygen (1 O2) oxidation to yield 6 SQ-monohydroperoxide (SQ-OOH) isomers as the primary oxidation products. However, due to the instability and lability of hydroperoxides, we found that when total SQ-OOH isomers are further photooxidized, they form a unique higher molecular weight secondary oxidation product. To generate the compound, we photooxidized total SQ-OOH isomers in the presence of ground state molecular oxygen (3 O2), after its isolation and purification, we studied its structure using MS/MS, NMR, derivatization reactions, and chemical calculations. The compound was identified as 2-OOH-3-(1,2-dioxane)-SQ. Photooxidation of individual SQ-OOH isomers revealed that 6-OOH-SQ is the precursor of 2-OOH-3-(1,2-dioxane)-SQ and indicated the possibility of the formation of similar cyclic peroxides from each isomer following the same photoinduced chain reaction mechanism. An HPLC-MS/MS method was developed for the analysis of 2-OOH-3-(1,2-dioxane)-SQ and its presence on the skin was confirmed in SSLs of six healthy individuals. Its quantity on the skin correlated directly to that of SQ and was not inversely proportional to its precursor, indicating the possibility of its accumulation on the skin surface and the constant regeneration of 6-OOH-SQ from SQ’s oxidation. In general, research on lipid cyclic peroxides in the human organism is very limited, and especially on the skin. This study shows for the first time the identification and presence of a novel SQ cyclic peroxide “2-OOH-3-(1,2-dioxane)-SQ” in SSLs, shedding light on the importance of further studying its effect and role on the skin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1760
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


    • 2-OOH-3-(1,2-dioxane)-SQ
    • Cyclic peroxides
    • O
    • O
    • Peroxyl radical
    • Photooxidation
    • SQ
    • SQ-OOH
    • SSLs

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Physiology
    • Molecular Biology
    • Clinical Biochemistry
    • Cell Biology


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