Recently isolated spore-forming pigmented marine bacteria Bacillus indicus
HU36 are sources of oxygenated carotenoids with original structures (about fifteen distinct yellow and orange pigments with acylated d-glucosyl groups). In this study, we evaluated the stability (sensitivity to iron-induced autoxidation) and antioxidant activity (inhibition of iron-induced lipid peroxidation) of combinations of bacterial HU36 carotenoids with the bacterial vitamin menaquinone MQ-7 and with phenolic antioxidants (vitamin E, chlorogenic acid, rutin). Unexpectedly, MQ-7 strongly improves the ability of HU36 carotenoids to inhibit FeII
-induced lipid peroxidation, although MQ-7 was not consumed in the medium. We propose that their interaction modifies the carotenoid antioxidant mechanism(s), possibly by allowing carotenoids to scavenge the initiating radicals. For comparison, β-carotene and lycopene in combination were shown to exhibit a slightly higher stability toward iron-induced autoxidation, as well as an additive antioxidant activity as compared to the carotenoids, individually. HU36 carotenoids and phenolic antioxidants displayed synergistic activities in the inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation induced by heme iron, but not by free iron. Synergism could arise from antioxidants interacting via electron transfer through the porphyrin nucleus of heme iron. Overall, combining antioxidants acting via complementary mechanisms could be the key for optimizing the activity of this bacterial carotenoid cocktail.
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