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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1997;67(5):364-7.

Carotenoids and intercellular communication via gap junctions.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie I, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.


Stimulation of gap junctional communication has been suggested to be one of the biochemical mechanisms underlying the cancer-preventive activity of carotenoids. The stimulatory activity is associated with structural properties of the carotenoids. It appears that the presence of a six-membered ring substituent at the end of the conjugated system of double bonds is required for the effects; five-membered ring carotenoids are less active. There is increasing evidence that oxidation products of carotenoids, especially retinoic acid analogs, significantly contribute to this biological property.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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