Purified canola lutein selectively inhibits specific isoforms of mammalian DNA polymerases and reduces inflammatory response

Lipids. 2010 Aug;45(8):713-21. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3449-5. Epub 2010 Jul 29.


In the screening of DNA polymerase (pol) inhibitor, we isolated lutein, a carotenoid, from the crude (unrefined) pressed oil of canola (low erucic acid rapeseed, Brassica napus L.). Commercially prepared carotenoids such as lutein (1), zeaxanthin (2), beta-cryptoxanthin (3), astaxanthin (4), canthaxanthin (5), beta-carotene (6), lycopene (7), capsanthin (8), fucoxanthin (9) and fucoxanthinol (10), were investigated for the inhibitory activities of pols. Compounds 1, 2 and 8 exhibited strong inhibition of the activities of mammalian pols beta and lambda, which are DNA repair- and/or recombination-related pols. On the other hand, all carotenoids tested had no influence on the activity of a mammalian pol alpha, which is a DNA replicative pol. Lutein (1) was the strongest pol inhibitor of mammalian pols beta and lambda in the prepared ten carotenoids tested, but did not influence of the activities of mammalian pols alpha, gamma, delta and epsilon. The tendency for pols beta and lambda inhibition by these carotenoids showed a positive correlation with the suppression of TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate)-induced inflammation. These results suggest that cold pressed unrefined canola/rapeseed oil, or other oils with high levels of lutein and other carotenoids, may be useful for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brassica napus / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / chemistry
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Cryptoxanthins
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / chemistry
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / chemistry
  • Lutein / pharmacology*
  • Lycopene
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Xanthophylls / chemistry
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacology
  • Zeaxanthins
  • beta Carotene / analogs & derivatives
  • beta Carotene / chemistry
  • beta Carotene / pharmacology


  • Cryptoxanthins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • beta Carotene
  • fucoxanthin
  • Carotenoids
  • capsanthin
  • fucoxanthinol
  • astaxanthine
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein