Progress in understanding the origin and functions of carotenoid hydroxylases in plants

Li Tian, Dean Dellapenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The dihydroxy xanthophylls lutein (β,ε-carotene-3,3 -diol) and zeaxanthin (β,β-carotene-3,3 -diol) are well known for their critical roles in photosystem structure and adaptation of plants to high light stress. As a group, carotenoid hydroxylases catalyze the formation of lutein and zeaxanthin from their corresponding cyclic carotene precursors. Carotenoid β-ring hydroxylases (β-hydroxylases) have been isolated and characterized from various organisms and have invariably been shown to be non-heme di-iron monooxygenases. The presence of an ε-ring specific hydroxylase (ε-hydroxylase) was genetically demonstrated by isolation of mutants at the LUT1 locus in Arabidopsis. This review focuses on progress in understanding the molecular and biochemical nature of the ε-hydroxylase and the in vivo overlapping functions of the various carotenoid β- and ε-hydroxylases in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotenoid
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Hydroxylase
  • Lutein
  • Xanthophyll
  • Zeaxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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