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The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2024) | Viewed by 11604

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Russian Academy of Sciences, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
Interests: carotenoids; drug delivery systems; spin chemistry; free radicals; antioxidant activity; electron transfer; membrane biophysics
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA
Interests: carotenoids; electron transfer; carotenoid radicals; electron paramagnetic resonance; DFT

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments found in most fruits and vegetables, plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Carotenoids have a range of functions in human health. They primarily exert antioxidant effects, but individual carotenoids may also act through other mechanisms. Recently, much research has focused on the reactions between carotenoids and free radicals the ability of carotenoids to prevent the development of diseases caused by toxic free radicals. One factor contributing to the development of various diseases, including infarction, cerebral thrombosis, and tumors, has been attributed to the action of free radicals and toxic forms of oxygen. No less significant are the membrane-stabilizing and immunostimulating functions of carotenoids, as well as their pro-vitamin A activity. At the same time, the widespread practical application of carotenoids as antioxidants or food colorants is substantially hampered by their hydrophobic properties, instability in the presence of oxygen and high photosensitivity. Moving carotenoids into a pharmaceutical application requires a chemical delivery system that overcomes the problems with the parenteral administration of a highly lipophilic, low-molecular-weight compounds.

This Special Issue, entitled “The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease” and published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, seeks contributions that assess state-of-the-art research as well as future developments in the field of carotenoids studies. Topics include, but are not limited to, health benefits of carotenoids; antioxidant activity of carotenoids; carotenoids in eye diseases; supramolecular complexes of carotenoids, carotenoid–membrane interactions, etc. Authors are invited to submit their latest results; both original papers and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Nikolay Polyakov
Prof. Dr. Lowell D. Kispert
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • carotenoids
  • antioxidant activity
  • free radicals
  • supramolecular complexes
  • health benefit
  • eye and other diseases
 

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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29 pages, 5422 KiB  
Article
Scavenging of Cation Radicals of the Visual Cycle Retinoids by Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Taurine, and Melanin
by Malgorzata Rozanowska, Ruth Edge, Edward J. Land, Suppiah Navaratnam, Tadeusz Sarna and T. George Truscott
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(1), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25010506 - 29 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
In the retina, retinoids involved in vision are under constant threat of oxidation, and their oxidation products exhibit deleterious properties. Using pulse radiolysis, this study determined that the bimolecular rate constants of scavenging cation radicals of retinoids by taurine are smaller than 2 [...] Read more.
In the retina, retinoids involved in vision are under constant threat of oxidation, and their oxidation products exhibit deleterious properties. Using pulse radiolysis, this study determined that the bimolecular rate constants of scavenging cation radicals of retinoids by taurine are smaller than 2 × 107 M−1s−1 whereas lutein scavenges cation radicals of all three retinoids with the bimolecular rate constants approach the diffusion-controlled limits, while zeaxanthin is only 1.4–1.6-fold less effective. Despite that lutein exhibits greater scavenging rate constants of retinoid cation radicals than other antioxidants, the greater concentrations of ascorbate in the retina suggest that ascorbate may be the main protectant of all visual cycle retinoids from oxidative degradation, while α-tocopherol may play a substantial role in the protection of retinaldehyde but is relatively inefficient in the protection of retinol or retinyl palmitate. While the protection of retinoids by lutein and zeaxanthin appears inefficient in the retinal periphery, it can be quite substantial in the macula. Although the determined rate constants of scavenging the cation radicals of retinol and retinaldehyde by dopa-melanin are relatively small, the high concentration of melanin in the RPE melanosomes suggests they can be scavenged if they are in proximity to melanin-containing pigment granules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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18 pages, 3315 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus aureus Modulates Carotenoid and Phospholipid Content in Response to Oxygen-Restricted Growth Conditions, Triggering Changes in Membrane Biophysical Properties
by Laura Zamudio-Chávez, Elizabeth Suesca, Gerson-Dirceu López, Chiara Carazzone, Marcela Manrique-Moreno and Chad Leidy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(19), 14906; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241914906 - 5 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus membranes contain carotenoids formed during the biosynthesis of staphyloxanthin. These carotenoids are considered virulence factors due to their activity as scavengers of reactive oxygen species and as inhibitors of antimicrobial peptides. Here, we show that the growth of S. aureus under [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus membranes contain carotenoids formed during the biosynthesis of staphyloxanthin. These carotenoids are considered virulence factors due to their activity as scavengers of reactive oxygen species and as inhibitors of antimicrobial peptides. Here, we show that the growth of S. aureus under oxygen-restricting conditions downregulates carotenoid biosynthesis and modifies phospholipid content in biofilms and planktonic cells analyzed using LC-MS. At oxygen-restrictive levels, the staphyloxanthin precursor 4,4-diapophytofluene accumulates, indicating that the dehydrogenation reaction catalyzed by 4,4′-diapophytoene desaturases (CrtN) is inhibited. An increase in lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol is observed under oxygen-restrictive conditions in planktonic cells, and high levels of cardiolipin are detected in biofilms compared to planktonic cells. Under oxygen-restriction conditions, the biophysical parameters of S. aureus membranes show an increase in lipid headgroup spacing, as measured with Laurdan GP, and decreased bilayer core order, as measured with DPH anisotropy. An increase in the liquid–crystalline to gel phase melting temperature, as measured with FTIR, is also observed. S. aureus membranes are therefore less condensed under oxygen-restriction conditions at 37 °C. However, the lack of carotenoids leads to a highly ordered gel phase at low temperatures, around 15 °C. Carotenoids are therefore likely to be low in S. aureus found in tissues with low oxygen levels, such as abscesses, leading to altered membrane biophysical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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14 pages, 3111 KiB  
Article
The Content of Total Carotenoids, Vitamin C and Antioxidant Properties of 65 Potato Cultivars Characterised under the European Project ECOBREED
by Beata Tatarowska, Dorota Milczarek and Jarosław Plich
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(14), 11716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241411716 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of cultivars on the concentration of antioxidant compounds: total carotenoid content (TC) and vitamin C (VC), and their correlation with the total antioxidant activity (TAA) in 65 potato cultivars (Solanum tuberosum) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of cultivars on the concentration of antioxidant compounds: total carotenoid content (TC) and vitamin C (VC), and their correlation with the total antioxidant activity (TAA) in 65 potato cultivars (Solanum tuberosum) from 10 countries. The TC content revealed a highly significant effect of the year (Y), cultivar (C) and flesh colour (FC). The TC ranged from 101.5 µg 100 g−1 DM (in cv. Kelly) to 715 µg 100 g−1 DM (in cv. Mayan Gold). The TC values were weakly correlated with years and higher in yellow-fleshed potatoes than in white-fleshed potatoes (319.9 vs. 175.6 µg 100 g−1 DM, respectively). The VC content ranged from 1.0 mg 100 g−1 FM (in cv. Bzura) to 14.8 mg 100 g−1 FM (in cv. Twinner). The content of VC were higher in yellow-fleshed (6.5 mg 100 g−1 FM) than in white-fleshed potatoes (5.8 mg 100 g−1 FM). The highest TAA were observed in cvs. Colleen, Basa, Triplo, Gatsby, Ditta, Twinner, Riviera, Michalina, Damaris, Belmonda, Ambo, Savinja, 12-LHI-6. For these cultivars, the FRAP values were 0.53 µmol TE 100 mg−1 DM and DPPH 0.55 µmol TE 100 mg−1 DM. The lowest TAA were observed in cvs.: Owacja, Mayan Gold, Kokra, Magnolia and Kelly. For them, the FRAP and DPPH values were slightly above 0.2 µmol TE 100 mg−1 DM. It was shown that the concentration of TC in potato tubers has an impact on TAA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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20 pages, 6280 KiB  
Article
Regulation of Carotenoid Biosynthesis and Degradation in Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) from Seedlings to Harvest
by Galina Brychkova, Cleiton Lourenço de Oliveira, Luiz Antonio Augusto Gomes, Matheus de Souza Gomes, Antoine Fort, Alberto Abrantes Esteves-Ferreira, Ronan Sulpice, Peter C. McKeown and Charles Spillane
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(12), 10310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241210310 - 18 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is one of the commercially important leafy vegetables worldwide. However, lettuce cultivars vary widely in their carotenoid concentrations at the time of harvest. While the carotenoid content of lettuce can depend on transcript levels of key biosynthetic enzymes, [...] Read more.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is one of the commercially important leafy vegetables worldwide. However, lettuce cultivars vary widely in their carotenoid concentrations at the time of harvest. While the carotenoid content of lettuce can depend on transcript levels of key biosynthetic enzymes, genes that can act as biomarkers for carotenoid accumulation at early stages of plant growth have not been identified. Transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis was performed on the inner and outer leaves of the six cultivars at different developmental stages to identify gene-to-metabolite networks affecting the accumulation of two key carotenoids, β-carotene and lutein. Statistical analysis, including principal component analysis, was used to better understand variations in carotenoid concentration between leaf age and cultivars. Our results demonstrate that key enzymes of carotenoid biosynthesis pathway can alter lutein and β-carotene biosynthesis across commercial cultivars. To ensure high carotenoids content in leaves, the metabolites sink from β-carotene and lutein to zeaxanthin, and subsequently, abscisic acid needs to be regulated. Based on 2–3-fold carotenoids increase at 40 days after sowing (DAS) as compared to the seedling stage, and 1.5–2-fold decline at commercial stage (60 DAS) compared to the 40 DAS stage, we conclude that the value of lettuce for human nutrition would be improved by use of less mature plants, as the widely-used commercial stage is already at plant senescence stage where carotenoids and other essential metabolites are undergoing degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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Review

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19 pages, 1966 KiB  
Review
The Endless World of Carotenoids—Structural, Chemical and Biological Aspects of Some Rare Carotenoids
by Nikolay E. Polyakov, A. Ligia Focsan, Yunlong Gao and Lowell D. Kispert
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(12), 9885; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24129885 - 8 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
Carotenoids are a large and diverse group of compounds that have been shown to have a wide range of potential health benefits. While some carotenoids have been extensively studied, many others have not received as much attention. Studying the physicochemical properties of carotenoids [...] Read more.
Carotenoids are a large and diverse group of compounds that have been shown to have a wide range of potential health benefits. While some carotenoids have been extensively studied, many others have not received as much attention. Studying the physicochemical properties of carotenoids using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and density functional theory (DFT) helped us understand their chemical structure and how they interact with other molecules in different environments. Ultimately, this can provide insights into their potential biological activity and how they might be used to promote health. In particular, some rare carotenoids, such as sioxanthin, siphonaxanthin and crocin, that are described here contain more functional groups than the conventional carotenoids, or have similar groups but with some situated outside of the rings, such as sapronaxanthin, myxol, deinoxanthin and sarcinaxanthin. By careful design or self-assembly, these rare carotenoids can form multiple H-bonds and coordination bonds in host molecules. The stability, oxidation potentials and antioxidant activity of the carotenoids can be improved in host molecules, and the photo-oxidation efficiency of the carotenoids can also be controlled. The photostability of the carotenoids can be increased if the carotenoids are embedded in a nonpolar environment when no bonds are formed. In addition, the application of nanosized supramolecular systems for carotenoid delivery can improve the stability and biological activity of rare carotenoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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15 pages, 957 KiB  
Review
Improving the Treatment Effect of Carotenoids on Alzheimer’s Disease through Various Nano-Delivery Systems
by Wenjing Su, Wenhao Xu, Enshuo Liu, Weike Su and Nikolay E. Polyakov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087652 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3028
Abstract
Natural bioactive compounds have recently emerged as a current strategy for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Carotenoids, including astaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, fucoxanthin, crocin and others are natural pigments and antioxidants, and can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, carotenoids, [...] Read more.
Natural bioactive compounds have recently emerged as a current strategy for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Carotenoids, including astaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, fucoxanthin, crocin and others are natural pigments and antioxidants, and can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, carotenoids, as oil-soluble substances with additional unsaturated groups, suffer from low solubility, poor stability and poor bioavailability. Therefore, the preparation of various nano-drug delivery systems from carotenoids is a current measure to achieve efficient application of carotenoids. Different carotenoid delivery systems can improve the solubility, stability, permeability and bioavailability of carotenoids to a certain extent to achieve Alzheimer’s disease efficacy. This review summarizes recent data on different carotenoid nano-drug delivery systems for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including polymer, lipid, inorganic and hybrid nano-drug delivery systems. These drug delivery systems have been shown to have a beneficial therapeutic effect on Alzheimer’s disease to a certain extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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