Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Carotenoids

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_866-2

Definition

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...

Keywords

Retinoic Acid Alter Signal Transduction Retinoid Metabolism Influence Cancer Risk Retinoic Acid Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Palozza P, Serini S, Ameruso M et al (2009) Modulation of intracellular signaling pathways by carotenoids. In: Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (eds) Carotenoids: Vol 5: Nutrition and Health. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel, pp 211–234Google Scholar
  2. Rock CL (2009) Carotenoids and cancer. In: Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (eds) Carotenoids: Vol 5: Nutrition and Health. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel, pp 269–286Google Scholar
  3. Wang XD (2012) Carotenoids. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR (eds) Modern nutrition in health and disease. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, pp 427–439Google Scholar
  4. Yeum KJ, Aldini G, Russell RM, et al (2009) Antioxidant/Pro-oxidant actions of carotenoids. In: Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (eds) Carotenoids: Vol 5: Nutrition and Health. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel, pp 235–268Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alverno CollegeMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts UniversityBostonUSA