Carotenoid Cleavage Oxygenases from Microbes and Photosynthetic Organisms: Features and Functions.


Apocarotenoids are carotenoid-derived compounds widespread in all major taxonomic groups, where they play important roles in different physiological processes. In addition, apocarotenoids include compounds with high economic value in food and cosmetics industries. Apocarotenoid biosynthesis starts with the action of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs), a family of non-heme iron enzymes that catalyze the oxidative cleavage of carbon-carbon double bonds in carotenoid backbones through a similar molecular mechanism, generating aldehyde or ketone groups in the cleaving ends. From the identification of the first CCD enzyme in plants, an increasing number of CCDs have been identified in many other species, including microorganisms, proving to be a ubiquitously distributed and evolutionarily conserved enzymatic family. This review focuses on CCDs from plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria, describing recent progress in their functions and regulatory mechanisms in relation to the different roles played by the apocarotenoids in these organisms.

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