Carbon Source Influences Antioxidant, Antiglycemic, and Antilipidemic Activities of Haloferax mediterranei Carotenoid Extracts

Mar Drugs. 2022 Oct 24;20(11):659. doi: 10.3390/md20110659.


Haloarchaeal carotenoids have attracted attention lately due to their potential antioxidant activity. This work studies the effect of different concentrations of carbon sources on cell growth and carotenoid production. Carotenoid extract composition was characterized by HPLC-MS. Antioxidant activity of carotenoid extracts obtained from cell cultures grown under different nutritional conditions was determined by 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), Ferric Reducing Ability Power (FRAP) and β-carotene bleaching assays. The ability of these carotenoid extracts to inhibit α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and lipase enzymes was also assessed to determine if they could be used to reduce blood glucose and lipid absorption. The maximum production of carotenoids (92.2 µg/mL) was observed combining 12.5% inorganic salts and 2.5% of glucose/starch. Antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and antilipidemic studies showed that higher carbon availability in the culture media leads to changes in the extract composition, resulting in more active haloarchaeal carotenoid extracts. Carotenoid extracts obtained from high-carbon-availability cell cultures presented higher proportions of all-trans-bacterioruberin, 5-cis-bacterioruberin, and a double isomeric bacterioruberin, whereas the presence 9-cis-bacterioruberin and 13-cis-bacterioruberin decreased. The production of haloarchaeal carotenoids can be successfully optimized by changing nutritional conditions. Furthermore, carotenoid composition can be altered by modifying carbon source concentration. These natural compounds are very promising in food and nutraceutical industries.

Keywords: Haloferax mediterranei; bacterioruberin; carotenoids; haloarchaea; hyperglycemia; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Carbon
  • Carotenoids / chemistry
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology
  • Haloferax mediterranei*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • bacterioruberin
  • Antioxidants
  • Carbon
  • Carotenoids
  • Plant Extracts