Carotenoid oxidative degradation products inhibit Na+-K+-ATPase

Werner G. Siems, Olaf Sommerburg, John S. Hurst, Frederik J.G.M. Van Kuijk

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37 Scopus citations


This study investigates the biological significance of carotenoid oxidation products using inhibition of Na+-K+-ATPase activity as an index. β-Carotene was completely oxidized by hypochlorous acid and the oxidation products were analyzed by capillary gas-liquid chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. The Na+-K+-ATPase activity was assayed in the presence of these oxidized carotenoids and was rapidly and potently inhibited. This was demonstrated for a mixture of β-carotene oxidative breakdown products, β-Apo-10'-carotenal and retinal. Most of the β-carotene oxidation products were identified as aldehydic. The concentration of the oxidized carotenoid mixture that inhibited Na+-K+-ATPase activity by 50% (IC50) was equivalent to 10 μM non-degraded β-carotene, whereas the IC50 for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, a major lipid peroxidation product, was 120 μM. Carotenoid oxidation products are more potent inhibitors of Na+-K+-ATPase than 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal. Enzyme activity was only partially restored with hydroxylamine and/or β-mercaptoethanol. Thus, in vitro binding of carotenoid oxidation products results in strong enzyme inhibition. These data indicate the potential toxicity of oxidative carotenoid metabolites and their activity on key enzyme regulators and signal modulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by an unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, N.Y.


  • 4-hydroxynonenal
  • Aldehydes
  • Carotenoid breakdown products
  • Carotenoids
  • Na-K-ATPase


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