Biological functions of carotenoids ‐ diversity and evolution

@article{Vershinin1999BiologicalFO,
  title={Biological functions of carotenoids ‐ diversity and evolution},
  author={A. Vershinin},
  journal={BioFactors},
  year={1999},
  volume={10}
}
Carotenoids first emerged in archaebacteria as lipids reinforcing cell membranes. To serve this function their long molecules have extremely rigid backbone due to the linear chain of usually 10 to 11 conjugated C=C bonds in trans‐configuration — the length corresponding the thickness of hydrophobic zone of membrane which they penetrate as “molecular rivets”. Carotenoids retain their membrane‐reinforcing function in some fungi and animals. 
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