A Study of Inhibition of Carotenoid Synthesis

Rilling, H.C.

Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 110: 39-46


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-9861
PMID: 14321861
DOI: 10.1016/0003-9861(65)90152-9
Accession: 029800111

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A Mycobacterium species that synthesizes carotenoids only after light stimulation has been used to study the inhibition of carotenoid synthesis by a variety of compounds. In addition to diphenylamine, which has been shown to inhibit caroteno-genesis in many systems, benzophenone, acridine-orange, methylene-blue, neutral-red, toluidine-blue, proflavine, acridine and 9,10-dihydro-acridine were found to inhibit the formation of the more highly un-saturated carotenoids. In all instances phytofluene accumulated when the formation of the more highly unsaturated carotenoids was inhibited. Under conditions of high oxygen tension all of these compounds except diphenylamine and benzophenone no longer inhibit carotenogenesis. Molecular models show that the dihydro derivatives of the heterocyclic inhibitors, benzophenone, and diphenylamine have a close structural similarity to carotenoids in the region of subsequent dehydrogenation. It is postulated that these compounds bind with the carotenoid dehydrogenases, thereby inhibiting carotenogenesis.