Provitamin A2 from Lutein

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Science  15 Nov 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3594, pp. 969-971
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3594.969


Alfalfa lipids were treated with p-toluenesulfonic acid in benzene under reflux; after saponification, chromatography of the unsaponifiable portion yielded a carotenoid having a single absorption maximum at 460 mµ in ethanol and hexane. Its properties correspond to those of the dehydration product of lutein, 3'-hydroxy-3,4-dehydro-ß-carotene, for which the name "anhydrolutein" is proposed. Vitamin A depleted chicks convert this pigment to vitamin A2, as shown by the high ratio of absorbancies at 693 and 620 mµ in a mixture of CHCI3 and SbCl3. and the absorption maximum at 350 mµ in hexane exhibited by the liver lipids. The possible role of this pigment in the biogenesis of vitamin A2 is discussed.