Carotenoids play pivotal roles in vision as light filters and precursor of chromophore. Many vertebrates also display the colorful pigments as ornaments in bare skin parts and feathers. Proteins involved in the transport and metabolism of these lipids have been identified including class B scavenger receptors and carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases. Recent research implicates members of the Aster protein family, also known as GRAM domain-containing (GRAMD), in carotenoid metabolism. These multi-domain proteins facilitate the intracellular movement of carotenoids from their site of cellular uptake by scavenger receptors to the site of their metabolic processing by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases. We provide a model how the coordinated interplay of these proteins and their differential expression establishes carotenoid distribution patterns and function in tissues, with particular emphasis on the human retina.
carotenoids, metabolism, mitochondria, transport, vision
National Eye Institute
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Bandara, S., & von Lintig, J. (2022). Aster la vista: Unraveling the biochemical basis of carotenoid homeostasis in the human retina. BioEssays, 44, e2200133. https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.202200133