Visible red and near infra-red light is absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase and stimulates the production of ATP

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a nucleoside triphosphate, is involved in transporting chemical energy into a cell. ATP is produced in the mitochondria by the enzyme ATP synthase by the oxidative phosphorylation of adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The electron transport chain (ETC), located within the mitochondrial inner membrane, is a series of enzyme complexes and is involved in the transfer of electrons from a donor to an acceptor. There are four complexes (Complex I to IV); five if you include ATP synthase. During the transfer of these electrons, protons are pumped across the mitochondrial inner membrane and into the intermembrane space thereby creating a proton motive force, or electrochemical proton gradient (ΔΨ). ATP is generated when these protons flow back into the mitochondrial matrix through ATP synthase. Low Intensity Laser Irradiation (LILI), otherwise known as phototherapy or photobiostimulation, has been shown to increase ATP and the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in vitro. LILI involves the use of low powered lasers or light emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cellular processes and metabolism. Cellular responses are the result of changes in photoacceptor molecules, or chromophores. It is thought that cytochrome c oxidase, the terminal enzyme in the ETC (complex IV), is a light absorbing chromophore for visible red and near infra-red (NIR) light. When cytochrome c oxidase absorbs proton energy, the redox state of the mitochondria is changed and there is an increase in ATP production as well as intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). This in turn leads to stimulation of cellular process. This chapter looks at the effects of LILI on the mitochondria and its influence on ATP production.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdenosine Triphosphate
Subtitle of host publicationChemical Properties, Biosynthesis and Functions in Cells
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781624178900
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • ATP
  • Cytochrome c oxidase
  • Lasers
  • Mitochondria
  • Phototherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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