beta-Carotene effectively scavenges toxic nitrogen oxides: nitrogen dioxide and peroxynitrous acid

FEBS Lett. 1997 Mar 10;404(2-3):175-8. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(97)00124-5.


beta-Carotene absorbed 2 equimolar amounts of NO2 accompanying the complete destruction of beta-carotene. Electron spin resonance study using 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-3-oxide-1-oxyl revealed that no significant amounts of NO were released by the interaction. Nitrogen atoms derived from NO2 were tightly bound to the beta-carotene molecules. Destruction of beta-carotene was inhibited little by alpha-tocopherol and polyunsaturated fatty esters, and slightly by ascorbyl palmitate, indicating that beta-carotene was a more effective scavenger of NO2. ONOOH/ONOO- and 3-morpholinosydononimine similarly destroyed beta-carotene. The results suggest that beta-carotene contributes to the prevention of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of NO2 and ONOOH/ONOO- derived from NO.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amiloride / analogs & derivatives
  • Amiloride / chemistry
  • Ascorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Ascorbic Acid / chemistry
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / chemistry
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry*
  • Nitrates / chemistry*
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Vitamin E / chemistry
  • beta Carotene / chemistry*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Nitrates
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin E
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • peroxynitric acid
  • Amiloride
  • 4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid ethyl ester
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • 6-O-palmitoylascorbic acid
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • ethylisopropylamiloride