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Sub-cellular Biochemistry

Braulio Cervantes-Paz, Claudia I Victoria-Campos, José de Jesús Ornelas-Paz
Carotenoids participate in the normal metabolism and function of the human body. They are involved in the prevention of several diseases, especially those related to the inflammation syndrome. Their main mechanisms of action are associated to their potent antioxidant activity and capacity to regulate the expression of specific genes and proteins. Recent findings suggest that carotenoid metabolites may explain several processes where the participation of their parent carotenoids was unclear. The health benefits of carotenoids strongly depend on their absorption and transformation during gastrointestinal digestion...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
M Luisa Bonet, Jose A Canas, Joan Ribot, Andreu Palou
Cell, animal and human studies dealing with carotenoids and carotenoid derivatives as nutritional regulators of adipose tissue biology with implications for the etiology and management of obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases are reviewed. Most studied carotenoids in this context are β-carotene, cryptoxanthin, astaxanthin and fucoxanthin, together with β-carotene-derived retinoids and some other apocarotenoids. Studies indicate an impact of these compounds on essential aspects of adipose tissue biology including the control of adipocyte differentiation (adipogenesis), adipocyte metabolism, oxidative stress and the production of adipose tissue-derived regulatory signals and inflammatory mediators...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Ana Augusta Odorissi Xavier, Antonio Pérez-Gálvez
Carotenoids, widely distributed fat-soluble pigments, are responsible for the attractive colorations of several fruits and vegetables commonly present in our daily diet. They are particularly abundant in yellow-orange fruits (carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, peppers, among others) and, although masked by chlorophylls, in dark green leafy vegetables. Several health benefits have been attributed to carotenoids or to foods rich in these pigments, by means of different mechanisms-of-action, including the role as provitamin A of almost 50 different carotenoids and the antioxidant activity that protects cells and tissues from damage of free radicals and singlet oxygen, providing enhancement of the immune function, protection from sunburn reactions and delaying the onset of certain types of cancer...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
M L Federico, M A Schmidt
There is an increasing demand for carotenoids, which are fundamental components of the human diet, for example as precursors of vitamin A. Carotenoids are also potent antioxidants and their health benefits are becoming increasingly evident. Protective effects against prostate cancer and age-related macular degeneration have been proposed for lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin, respectively. Additionally, β-carotene, astaxanthin and canthaxanthin are high-value carotenoids used by the food industry as feed supplements and colorants...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Enriqueta Alós, Maria Jesús Rodrigo, Lorenzo Zacarias
Carotenoids are essential components for human nutrition and health, mainly due to their antioxidant and pro-vitamin A activity. Foods with enhanced carotenoid content and composition are essential to ensure carotenoid feasibility in malnourished population of many countries around the world, which is critical to alleviate vitamin A deficiency and other health-related disorders. The pathway of carotenoid biosynthesis is currently well understood, key steps of the pathways in different plant species have been characterized and the corresponding genes identified, as well as other regulatory elements...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Jacobo Arango, Jesús Beltrán, Jonathan Nuñez, Paul Chavarriaga
Epigenetic mechanisms are able to regulate plant development by generating non-Mendelian allelic interactions. An example of these are the responses to environmenal stimuli that result in phenotypic variability and transgression amongst important crop traits. The need to predict phenotypes from genotypes to understand the molecular basis of the genotype-by-environment interaction is a research priority. Today, with the recent discoveries in the field of epigenetics, this challenge goes beyond analyzing how DNA sequences change...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Li Li, Hui Yuan, Yunliu Zeng, Qiang Xu
Plastids are ubiquitously present in plants and are the organelles for carotenoid biosynthesis and storage. Based on their morphology and function, plastids are classified into various types, i.e. proplastids, etioplasts, chloroplasts, amyloplasts, and chromoplasts. All plastids, except proplastids, can synthesize carotenoids. However, plastid types have a profound effect on carotenoid accumulation and stability. In this chapter, we discuss carotenoid biosynthesis and regulation in various plastids with a focus on carotenoids in chromoplasts...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Juan Camilo Moreno Beltran, Claudia Stange
Carotenoids are precursors of carotenoid derived molecules termed apocarotenoids, which include isoprenoids with important functions in plant-environment interactions such as the attraction of pollinators and the defense against pathogens and herbivores. Apocarotenoids also include volatile aromatic compounds that act as repellents, chemoattractants, growth simulators and inhibitors, as well as the phytohormones abscisic acid and strigolactones. In plants, apocarotenoids can be found in several types of plastids (etioplast, leucoplast and chromoplast) and among different plant tissues such as flowers and roots...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Vitalia Henríquez, Carolina Escobar, Janeth Galarza, Javier Gimpel
Carotenoids are a class of isoprenoids synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms as well as by some non-photosynthetic bacteria and fungi with broad applications in food, feed and cosmetics, and also in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Microalgae represent an important source of high-value products, which include carotenoids, among others. Carotenoids play key roles in light harvesting and energy transfer during photosynthesis and in the protection of the photosynthetic apparatus against photooxidative damage...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Kevin Simpson, Ariel Cerda, Claudia Stange
Carrot (Daucus carota) is one of the most important vegetable cultivated worldwide and the main source of dietary provitamin A. Contrary to other plants, almost all carrot varieties accumulate massive amounts of carotenoids in the root, resulting in a wide variety of colors, including those with purple, yellow, white, red and orange roots. During the first weeks of development the root, grown in darkness, is thin and pale and devoid of carotenoids. At the second month, the thickening of the root and the accumulation of carotenoids begins, and it reaches its highest level at 3 months of development...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Joanna Lado, Lorenzo Zacarías, María Jesús Rodrigo
Carotenoids are recognized as the main pigments in most fruit crops, providing colours that range from yellow and pink to deep orange and red. Moreover, the edible portion of widely consumed fruits or their derived products represent a major dietary source of carotenoids for animals and humans. Therefore, these pigments are crucial compounds contributing to fruit aesthetic and nutritional quality but may also have protecting and ecophysiological functions in coloured fruits. Among plant organs, fruits display one of the most heterogeneous carotenoids patterns in terms of diversity and abundance...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Briardo Llorente
A substantial proportion of the dazzling diversity of colors displayed by living organisms throughout the tree of life is determined by the presence of carotenoids, which most often provide distinctive yellow, orange and red hues. These metabolites play fundamental roles in nature that extend far beyond their importance as pigments. In photosynthetic lineages, carotenoids are essential to sustain life, since they have been exploited to maximize light harvesting and protect the photosynthetic machinery from photooxidative stress...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Hideki Hashimoto, Chiasa Uragami, Richard J Cogdell
Carotenoids are ubiquitous and essential pigments in photosynthesis. They absorb in the blue-green region of the solar spectrum and transfer the absorbed energy to (bacterio-)chlorophylls, and so expand the wavelength range of light that is able to drive photosynthesis. This is an example of singlet-singlet energy transfer, and so carotenoids serve to enhance the overall efficiency of photosynthetic light reactions. Carotenoids also act to protect photosynthetic organisms from the harmful effects of excess exposure to light...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Delia B Rodriguez-Amaya
Modifications of the usual C40 linear and symmetrical carotenoid skeleton give rise to a wide array of structures of carotenes and xanthophylls in plant tissues. These include acyclic, monocyclic and dicyclic carotenoids, along with hydroxy and epoxy xanthophylls and apocarotenoids. Carotenols can be unesterified or esterified (monoester) in one or two (diester) hydroxyl groups with fatty acids. E-Z isomerization increases the array of possible plant carotenoids even further. Screening and especially quantitative analysis are being carried out worldwide...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Carolina Rosas-Saavedra, Claudia Stange
Carotenoids are the most important biocolor isoprenoids responsible for yellow, orange and red colors found in nature. In plants, they are synthesized in plastids of photosynthetic and sink organs and are essential molecules for photosynthesis, photo-oxidative damage protection and phytohormone synthesis. Carotenoids also play important roles in human health and nutrition acting as vitamin A precursors and antioxidants. Biochemical and biophysical approaches in different plants models have provided significant advances in understanding the structural and functional roles of carotenoids in plants as well as the key points of regulation in their biosynthesis...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Jennifer Alcaíno, Marcelo Baeza, Víctor Cifuentes
Carotenoids are naturally occurring red, orange and yellow pigments that are synthesized by plants and some microorganisms and fulfill many important physiological functions. This chapter describes the distribution of carotenoid in microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, microalgae, filamentous fungi and yeasts. We will also focus on their functional aspects and applications, such as their nutritional value, their benefits for human and animal health and their potential protection against free radicals...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Takashi Osanai, Hiroko Iijima, Masami Yokota Hirai
Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is a model species of the cyanobacteria that undergo oxygenic photosynthesis, and has garnered much attention for its potential biotechnological applications. The regulatory mechanism of sugar metabolism in this cyanobacterium has been intensively studied and recent omics approaches have revealed the changes in transcripts, proteins, and metabolites of sugar catabolism under different light and nutrient conditions. Several transcriptional regulators that control the gene expression of enzymes related to sugar catabolism have been identified in the past 10 years, including a sigma factor, transcription factors, and histidine kinases...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Inna Khozin-Goldberg, Stefan Leu, Sammy Boussiba
Microalgae present a huge and still insufficiently tapped resource of very long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFA) for human nutrition and medicinal applications. This chapter describes the diversity of unicellular eukaryotic microalgae in respect to VLC-PUFA biosynthesis. Then, we outline the major biosynthetic pathways mediating the formation of VLC-PUFA by sequential desaturation and elongation of C18-PUFA acyl groups. We address the aspects of spatial localization of those pathways and elaborate on the role for VLC-PUFA in microalgal cells...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Hanna R Aucoin, Joseph Gardner, Nanette R Boyle
In response to demands for sustainable domestic fuel sources, research into biofuels has become increasingly important. Many challenges face biofuels in their effort to replace petroleum fuels, but rational strain engineering of algae and photosynthetic organisms offers a great deal of promise. For decades, mutations and stress responses in photosynthetic microbiota were seen to result in production of exciting high-energy fuel molecules, giving hope but minor capability for design. However, '-omics' techniques for visualizing entire cell processing has clarified biosynthesis and regulatory networks...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
Kenji Matsui, Takao Koeduka
Most 'green' plants form green leaf volatiles (GLVs). GLVs are a familiar plant secondary metabolite, but knowledge of their physiological and ecological functions is limited. GLV formation is tightly suppressed when plant tissues are intact, but upon mechanical wounding, herbivore attack, or abiotic stresses, GLVs are formed rapidly, within seconds or minutes. Thus, this may be an important system for defense responses, allowing plants to protect themselves from damage as soon as possible. Because GLV formation in the natural environment is roughly related to the degree of stress in the plant life, sensing the amount of GLVs in the atmosphere might allow plants to recognize their surroundings...
2016: Sub-cellular Biochemistry
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