The introduction of the stilbene synthase gene enhances the natural antiradical activity of Lycopersicon esculentum mill.
ABSTRACT Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a vegetable rich in antioxidants, such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Their presence is responsible for the characteristic ability of this product to inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species, including singlet oxygen. The grapes and wines derived from grapes also contain powerful antioxidants. The antioxidant effect is derived from the polyphenols such as resveratrol and proanthocyanidin. Resveratrol is phytoalexin that is synthesized via the activation of the gene, stilbene synthase (STS). We decided to determine if the introduction of this gene into Lycopersicon esculentum Mill could modify its antioxidant activity. Using Electronic Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, which permits the detection of antiradical activity, especially *OH (hydroxyl radical), we showed that the antioxidant activity of the products, into which the gene STS had been introduced, was almost double than that of natural products and that their activity was especially pronounced due to ripening. Moreover, resveratrol concentrations in modified tomatoes were much higher than that found in the individual fruit. In the isolated hearts subjected to ischemia/reperfusion, the rats fed with modified tomato exhibited better cardiac performance, reduced myocardial infarct size and decreased number of apoptotic cardiomyocytes, and reduced oxidative stress compared to unmodified tomato or resveratrol alone indicating superior cardioprotective abilities of modified tomatoes.
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ABSTRACT: The basic principles of structure, stereochemistry, and nomenclature of carotenoids are described and the relationships between structure and the chemical and physical properties on which all the varied biological functions and actions of carotenoids depend are discussed. The conjugated polyene chromophore determines not only the light absorption properties, and hence color, but also the photochemical properties of the molecule and consequent light-harvesting and photoprotective action. The polyene chain is also the feature mainly responsible for the chemical reactivity of carotenoids toward oxidizing agents and free radicals, and hence for any antioxidant role. In vivo, carotenoids are found in precise locations and orientations in subcellular structures, and their chemical and physical properties are strongly influenced by other molecules in their vicinity, especially proteins and membrane lipids. In turn, the carotenoids influence the properties of these subcellular structures. Structural features such as size, shape, and polarity are essential determinants of the ability of a carotenoid to fit correctly into its molecular environment to allow it to function. A role for carotenoids in modifying structure, properties, and stability of cell membranes, and thus affecting molecular processes associated with these membranes, may be an important aspect of their possible beneficial effects on human health.--Britton, G. Structure and properties of carotenoids in relation to function.The FASEB Journal 01/1996; 9(15):1551-8. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Macular pigment (MP), concentrated in the central area of the retina, contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. A low MP density could be a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. Little information is available regarding MP density in relation to serum lutein and zeaxanthin and adipose lutein concentrations in a general population. The objective was to investigate the associations between MP density and serum lutein, serum zeaxanthin, and adipose lutein, taking into account potential confounders in a population. Volunteers (n = 376) aged 18-75 y were recruited. In a cross-sectional design, serum (n = 376) and adipose tissue (n = 187) were analyzed for carotenoids, and MP density was measured by spectral fundus reflectance. Mean MP density in the total study group was 0.33 +/- 0.15. MP density was 13% higher in men than in women (P < 0.05). Serum and blood concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, and all carotenoids except lycopene were significantly higher in women. Adipose lutein concentrations were also significantly higher in women than in men. Regression models showed a positive significant association between MP density and serum lutein, serum zeaxanthin, and adipose lutein concentrations in men after adjustment for age, but no relation in women. In men, serum lutein remained significantly associated with MP density after adjustment for age, total cholesterol, body mass index, and smoking. The associations between MP density and serum lutein, serum zeaxanthin, and adipose lutein concentrations are stronger in men than in women.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 09/2002; 76(3):595-603. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage to biomolecules have been postulated to be involved in the causation and progression of several chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, the two major causes of morbidity and mortality in Western world. Consequently dietary antioxidants, which inactivate ROS and provide protection from oxidative damage are being considered as important preventive strategic molecules. Carotenoids have been implicated as important dietary nutrients having antioxidant potential, being involved in the scavenging of two of the ROS, singlet molecular oxygen (1O2) and peroxyl radicals generated in the process of lipid peroxidation. Carotenoids are lipophilic molecules which tend to accumulate in lipophilic compartments like membranes or lipoproteins. Chronic ethanol consumption significantly increases hydrogen peroxide and decreases mitochondrial glutathione (GSH) in cells overexpressing CYP2E1. The depletion of mitochondrial GSH and the rise of hydrogen peroxide are responsible for the ethanol-induced apoptosis. Increased intake of lycopene, a major carotenoid in tomatoes, consumed as the all-trans-isomer attenuates alcohol induced apoptosis in 2E1 cells and reduces risk of prostate, lung and digestive cancers. Cancer-preventive activities of carotenoids have been associated as well as with their antioxidant properties and the induction and stimulation of intercellular communication via gap junctions which play a role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Gap junctional communication between cells which may be a basis for protection against cancer development is independent of the antioxidant property.Biomedecine [?] Pharmacotherapy 04/2004; 58(2):100-10. · 2.07 Impact Factor