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Antioxidants 2017, 6(4), 80; doi:10.3390/antiox6040080

Photo Protection of Haematococcus pluvialis Algae by Astaxanthin: Unique Properties of Astaxanthin Deduced by EPR, Optical and Electrochemical Studies

1
Department of Chemistry, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
2
Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids—Antioxidant Properties)
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Abstract

Abstract The antioxidant astaxanthin is known to accumulate in Haematococcus pluvialis algae under unfavorable environmental conditions for normal cell growth. The accumulated astaxanthin functions as a protective agent against oxidative stress damage, and tolerance to excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) is greater in astaxanthin-rich cells. The detailed mechanisms of protection have remained elusive, however, our Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), optical and electrochemical studies on carotenoids suggest that astaxanthin’s efficiency as a protective agent could be related to its ability to form chelate complexes with metals and to be esterified, its inability to aggregate in the ester form, its high oxidation potential and the ability to form proton loss neutral radicals under high illumination in the presence of metal ions. The neutral radical species formed by deprotonation of the radical cations can be very effective quenchers of the excited states of chlorophyll under high irradiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: astaxanthin; antioxidant; Haematococcus pluvialis; metal chelation; reactive oxygen species; photo protection; carotenoid; radical cation; proton loss neutral radicals astaxanthin; antioxidant; Haematococcus pluvialis; metal chelation; reactive oxygen species; photo protection; carotenoid; radical cation; proton loss neutral radicals
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Focsan, A.L.; Polyakov, N.E.; Kispert, L.D. Photo Protection of Haematococcus pluvialis Algae by Astaxanthin: Unique Properties of Astaxanthin Deduced by EPR, Optical and Electrochemical Studies. Antioxidants 2017, 6, 80.

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