Acetic acid [(1S,3R)-3-hydroxy-4-[(3E,5E,7E,9E,11E,13E,15E)-18-[(1S,4S,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethyl-7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-1-yl]-3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-17-oxooctadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15-octaenylidene]-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohexyl] ester
3D model (
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Fucoxanthin is a
Carotenoids are pigments produced by plants and algae and play a role in light harvesting as part of the photosynthesis process. Xanthophylls are a subset of carotenoids, identified by the fact that they are oxygenated either as hydroxyl groups or as epoxide bridges. This makes them more water soluble than carotenes like beta-carotene. Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll that contributes more than 10% of the estimated total production of carotenoids in nature. It is an accessory pigment found in the chloroplasts of many brown macro algae, such as Fucus spp., and the golden-brown, unicellular microalgae, the diatoms. It absorbs red light at bandwidth 450-540 nm, imparting a brownish-olive color to algae. Fucoxanthin has a highly unique structure that contains both an epoxide bond and hydroxyl groups along with an allenic bond (carbon-carbon double bond) and a conjugated carbonyl group (carbon-oxygen double bond) in the polyene chain. All of these features provide fucoxanthin with powerful antioxidant activity.
In macro algae Fucoxanthin acts like an antennae for light harvesting and energy transfer in the photosystem light harvesting complexes. In diatoms like Phaeodactylum tricornutum, fucoxanthin is protein-bound along with chlorophyll to form a light harvesting protein complex. Fucoxanthin is the dominant carotenoid, responsible for up to 60% of the energy transfer to chlorophyll a in diatoms  When bound to protein, the absorption spectrum of fucoxanthin expands from 450-540 nm to 390-580 nm, a range that is useful in aquatic environments.