Nitric oxide sensing by chlorophyll a

Abhishek Bhattacharya, Pranjal Biswas, Puranjoy Kar, Piya Roychoudhury, Sankar Basu, Souradipta Ganguly, Sanjay Ghosh, Koustubh Panda, Ruma Pal, Anjan Kr Dasgupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a signalling molecule that has direct and indirect regulatory roles in various functional processes in biology, though in plant kingdom its role is relatively unexplored. One reason for this is the fact that sensing of NO is always challenging. There are very few probes that can classify the different NO species. The present paper proposes a simple but straightforward way for sensing different NO species using chlorophyll, the source of inspiration being hemoglobin that serves as NO sink in mammalian systems. The proposed method is able to classify NO from DETA-NONOate or (Z)-1-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonioethyl) amino] diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate, nitrite, nitrate and S-nitrosothiol or SNO. This discrimination is carried out by chlorophyll a (chl a) at nano molar (nM) order of sensitivity and at 293 K–310 K. Molecular docking reveals the differential binding effects of NO and SNO with chlorophyll, the predicted binding affinity matching with the experimental observation. Additional experiments with a diverse range of cyanobacteria reveal that apart from the spectroscopic approach the proposed sensing module can be used in microscopic inspection of NO species. Binding of NO is sensitive to temperature and static magnetic field. This provides additional support for the involvement of the porphyrin ring structures to the NO sensing process. This also, broadens the scope of the sensing methods as hinted in the text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - Sep 8 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorophylla (Chla)
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Near infra-red fluorescence (NIRF)
  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Nitrite (NO )
  • S-Nitroso-glutathione (SNO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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