Congratulations to our very own “Cover Scientist”, Professor Valerian Kagan. Professor Kagan was honored as a true Pioneer of Redox Biology by one of the premier journals in the field, Anti-Oxidants and Redox Signaling. Not only does he grace the cover of the journal, but his life and lifeworks are also the subject of a wonderful biography. Professor Kagan’s story is that of a quintessential scientist from the start. Always a doubter but one working diligently to find the truth. The world of Redox Lipidomics, of which he is a major founder, is vastly richer for his contributions to these truths. And we as a department are richer for his presence. Please take time to enjoy his story. - Sally Wenzel
May 2022 ARTICLE - Redox Pioneer: Professor Valerian Kagan
Redox Pioneer: Professor Valerian Kagan
Hulya Bayır, John J. Maguire, and Enrique Cadenas
Professor Valerian Kagan (PhD, 1972, MV Lomonosov Moscow State University; DSci, 1981, USSR, Academy of Sciences, Moscow) is recognized as a Redox Pioneer because he has published 4 articles in the field of redox biology that have been cited >1000 times and 138 articles in this field have been cited between 100 and 924 times. The central and most important impact of Dr. Kagan's research is in the field of redox lipidomics—a term coined for the first time by Dr. Kagan in 2004—and consequently the definition of signaling pathways by oxidatively modified phospholipids; this acquires further significance considering that oxygenated phospholipids play multifunctional roles as essential signals coordinating metabolism and physiology. Some examples are the selective oxidation of cardiolipin (CL) by a cytochrome c peroxidase activity leading to the activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway; the hydroperoxy-arachidonoyl/adrenoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) species, driven by 15-lipoxygenases (15-LOX), as death signals leading to ferroptotic cell death; the regulation of ferroptosis by iNOS/NO• in pro-inflammatory conditions by a novel mechanism (realized via interactions of 15-LOX reaction intermediates formed from arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine [PE] species) and Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2β; via elimination of peroxidized PE); the involvement of oxygenated (phospho)lipids in immunosuppression by myeloid cells in the tumor microenvironment; hydrolysis of peroxidized CL by Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2γ) leading to pro- and anti-inflammatory signals and lipid mediators. Kagan continues his investigations to decipher the roles of enzyme-linked oxygenated phospholipids. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 36, 813–823..
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