Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2009
Publication Date: 12/20/2009
Citation: Mein, J., Wang, X. 2009. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions. In: Landrum, M., editor. Carotenoids. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis. p.417-436. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: To gain a better understanding of the beneficial biological activities of lycopene on cancer prevention, a greater knowledge of the metabolism of lycopene is needed. In particular, the identification of lycopene metabolites and oxidation products in vivo; the importance of tissue specific lycopene cleavage by CMO1/CMO2; and the potential interaction between lycopene dose, smoking and alcohol ingestion remain a vital step towards a better understanding of lycopene actions. An important question that remains unanswered is whether the effect of lycopene on various cellular functions and signaling pathways is a result of the direct actions of intact lycopene or its derivatives. While evidence is presented in this review to support the latter, more research is clearly needed to identify and characterize additional lycopene metabolites and their biological activities, which will potentially provide invaluable insights into the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of lycopene to humans, especially in terms of cancer prevention.