Maria M. Mendes-Pinto

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The photosynthetic light-harvesting systems of purple bacteria and plants both utilize specific carotenoids as quenchers of the harmful (bacterio)chlorophyll triplet states via triplet-triplet energy transfer. Here, we explore how the binding of carotenoids to the different types of light-harvesting proteins found in plants and purple bacteria provides(More)
The electronic properties of carotenoid molecules underlie their multiple functions throughout biology, and tuning of these properties by their in vivo locus is of vital importance in a number of cases. This is exemplified by photosynthetic carotenoids, which perform both light-harvesting and photoprotective roles essential to the photosynthetic process.(More)
Predicting the complete electronic structure of carotenoid molecules remains an extremely complex problem, particularly in anisotropic media such as proteins. In this paper, we address the electronic properties of nine relatively simple carotenoids by the combined use of electronic absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopies. Linear carotenoids exhibit an(More)
Light absorption by carotenoids is known to vary substantially with the shape or conformation of the pigment molecule induced by the molecular environment, but the role of interactions between carotenoid pigments and the proteins to which they are bound, and the resulting impact on organismal coloration, remain unclear. Here, we present a spectroscopic(More)
Human retinal macular pigment (MP) is formed by the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (including the isomer meso-zeaxanthin). MP has several functions in improving visual performance and protecting against the damaging effects of light, and MP levels are used as a proxy for macular health-specifically, to predict the likelihood of developing age-related(More)
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