Living reference work entry
Carotenoids are lipophilic plant pigments with polyisoprenoid structures that occur naturally in plants and other photosynthetic organisms. There are over 600 known carotenoids with chemical structures characterized by a large (35–40 carbon atoms) conjugated polyene chain, sometimes terminated by ring structures. Carotenoids are divided into two major groups: xanthophylls, oxygenated carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-cryptoxanthin, and carotenes, hydrocarbon carotenoids that are either cyclized, such as α-carotene and β-carotene, or linear like lycopene. The most abundant carotenoids in human plasma include lutein, lycopene, β-carotene, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, and α-carotene. The two main mechanisms by which carotenoids may influence cancer risk are by exerting antioxidant effects and through interaction with ligand-dependent nuclear hormone receptors and their signaling pathways. The capacity of carotenoids to act as lipid-soluble antioxidants serves a...
KeywordsRetinoic Acid Alter Signal Transduction Retinoid Metabolism Influence Cancer Risk Retinoic Acid Level
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