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Issue 11, 2010
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Human ocular carotenoid-binding proteins

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Two dietary carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are specifically delivered to the human macula at the highest concentration anywhere in the body. Whenever a tissue exhibits highly selective uptake of a compound, it is likely that one or more specific binding proteins are involved in the process. Over the past decade, our laboratory has identified and characterized several carotenoid-binding proteins from human retina including a pi isoform of glutathione S-transferase (GSTP1) as a zeaxanthin-binding protein, a member of the steroidogenic acute regulatory domain (StARD) family as a lutein-binding protein, and tubulin as a less specific, but higher capacity site for carotenoid deposition. In this article, we review the purification and characterization of these carotenoid-binding proteins, and we relate these ocular carotenoid-binding proteins to the transport and uptake role of serum lipoproteins and scavenger receptor proteins in a proposed pathway for macular pigment carotenoid delivery to the human retina.

Graphical abstract: Human ocular carotenoid-binding proteins

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 May 2010, accepted on 29 Jul 2010 and first published on 03 Sep 2010

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C0PP00126K
Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010,9, 1418-1425

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    Human ocular carotenoid-binding proteins

    B. Li, P. Vachali and P. S. Bernstein, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010, 9, 1418
    DOI: 10.1039/C0PP00126K

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