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Review

Canthaxanthin, a Red-Hot Carotenoid: Applications, Synthesis, and Biosynthetic Evolution

1
Plant Cell Biology Laboratory, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB NOVA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
2
Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB NOVA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
3
Plant and AgriBiosciences Centre, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, H19 TK33 Galway, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(8), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9081039
Received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 13 August 2020 / Published: 15 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Farming)
Carotenoids are a class of pigments with a biological role in light capture and antioxidant activities. High value ketocarotenoids, such as astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, are highly appealing for applications in human nutraceutical, cosmetic, and animal feed industries due to their color- and health-related properties. In this review, recent advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology towards the production of ketocarotenoids, in particular the red-orange canthaxanthin, are highlighted. Also reviewed and discussed are the properties of canthaxanthin, its natural producers, and various strategies for its chemical synthesis. We review the de novo synthesis of canthaxanthin and the functional β-carotene ketolase enzyme across organisms, supported by a protein-sequence-based phylogenetic analysis. Various possible modifications of the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway and the present sustainable cost-effective alternative platforms for ketocarotenoids biosynthesis are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: canthaxanthin; metabolic engineering; carotenoid biosynthesis pathway; plant secondary metabolite; chemical synthesis canthaxanthin; metabolic engineering; carotenoid biosynthesis pathway; plant secondary metabolite; chemical synthesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rebelo, B.A.; Farrona, S.; Ventura, M.R.; Abranches, R. Canthaxanthin, a Red-Hot Carotenoid: Applications, Synthesis, and Biosynthetic Evolution. Plants 2020, 9, 1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9081039

AMA Style

Rebelo BA, Farrona S, Ventura MR, Abranches R. Canthaxanthin, a Red-Hot Carotenoid: Applications, Synthesis, and Biosynthetic Evolution. Plants. 2020; 9(8):1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9081039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rebelo, Bárbara A., Sara Farrona, M. R. Ventura, and Rita Abranches. 2020. "Canthaxanthin, a Red-Hot Carotenoid: Applications, Synthesis, and Biosynthetic Evolution" Plants 9, no. 8: 1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9081039

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