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Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Nov 10;11(11):4506-10. doi: 10.3390/ijms11114506.

Insight into the strong antioxidant activity of deinoxanthin, a unique carotenoid in Deinococcus radiodurans.

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Shandong Provincial Research Center for Bioinformatic Engineering and Technique, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049, China; E-Mail: ; Tel.:+86-533-278-0271;


Deinoxanthin (DX) is a unique carotenoid synthesized by Deinococcus radiodurans, one of the most radioresistant organisms known. In comparison with other carotenoids, DX was proven to exhibit significantly stronger reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging activity, which plays an important role in the radioresistance of D. radiodurans. In this work, to gain deeper insights into the strong antioxidant activity of DX, the parameters characterizing ROS-scavenging potential were calculated by means of quantum chemical calculations. It was found that DX possesses lower lowest triplet excitation energy for its unique structure than other carotenoids, such as β-carotene and zeaxanthin, which endows DX strong potential in the energy transfer-based ROS-scavenging process. Moreover, the H-atom donating potential of DX is similar to zeaxanthin according to the theoretical homolytic O-H bond dissociation enthalpy. Thus, the large number of conjugated double bonds should be crucial for its strong antioxidant activity.


bond dissociation enthalpy; deinoxanthin; density functional theory; lowest triplet excitation energy

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