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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jul 6;500(3):132-6.

One-electron reduction potentials of dietary carotenoid radical cations in aqueous micellar environments.

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  • 1School of Chemistry and Physics, Keele University, UK.


The one-electron reduction potentials of the radical cations of five dietary carotenoids (beta-carotene, canthaxanthin, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and lycopene) in aqueous micellar environments have been obtained from a pulse radiolysis study of electron transfer between the carotenoids and tryptophan radical cations as a function of pH, and lie in the range of 980-1060 mV. These values are consistent with our observation that the carotenoid radical cations oxidise tyrosine and cysteine. The decays of the carotenoid radical cations in the absence of added reactants suggest a distribution of exponential lifetimes. The radicals persist for up to about 1 s, depending on the medium.

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