for a bright and unified complexion

A powerful antioxidant

Neurosporene is a rare, red-colored carotenoid with exceptional antioxidant properties that protects cells from the harmful effects of overexposure to light. Using its unique expertise in the biosynthesis of carotenoids from extremophile microorganisms, DEINOVE has managed to optimize and increase the endogenous production of neurosporene by Deinococcus geothermalis. Delivered in a concentrated form, neurosporene is available for cosmetic formulation.

Naturally synthesized within the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway, neurosporene is a transient intermediate commonly produced in plants, bacteria, fungi and algae, but only found to accumulate in some photosynthetic bacteria and extremophile microorganisms. Even though various bacterial species have been isolated in the past that do produce neurosporene, they have been found to be unstable or unable to produce large volumes of this carotenoid[1],[2],[3].

Advanced genetics to boost neurosporene biosynthesis

Neurosporene is synthesized in a cascade of 4 reactions catalyzed by the CrtI enzyme that desaturates phytoene to produce lycopene. Using Deinoccocus geothermalis as a bacterial micro-factory, a species  for which it has developed a number of genetic engineering tools, DEINOVE has progressively modified the ctrI gene to tweak the equilibrium between these enzymatic reactions. The automated genetic engineering process produced several thousands of strains of which 2 were identified as strong producers of neurosporene at an industrial scale.

Desaturation cascade that produces neurosporene

A very powerful antioxidant and other biological applications

In terms of biological activity DEINOVE’s neurosporene scores as a very effective antioxidant in vitro (5/5 on the PAOT® antioxidant scoring scale[4]), and displays high antioxidant power against blue light- and UVA-induced reactive oxygen species. In addition, it also limits the synthesis and deposition of melanin on skin biopsies in response to exposure to blue light.

While cytotoxicity studies of DEINOVE’s neurosporene have shown that it is safe on skin explants, various in vitro, ex vivo and clinical data have demonstrated its efficacy in protecting from exposure to light radiation, maintaining both cellular redox balance (by protecting cells from oxidative stress) and mitochondrial function, and brightening skin tone, highliting its many  applications in the field of cosmetics.


[1] Scolnik PA, Walker MA, Marrs BL (1980) Biosynthesis of carotenoids derived from neurosporene in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. J Biol Chem 255:2427–2432

[2] Harada, J., Nagashima, K. V. P., Takaichi, S., Misawa, N., Matsuura, K., & Shimada, K. (2001). Phytoene Desaturase, CrtI, of the Purple Photosynthetic Bacterium, Rubrivivax gelatinosus, Produces both Neurosporene and Lycopene. Plant and Cell Physiology, 42(10), 1112–1118

[3] Ramaprasad, E. V. V., Sasikala, Ch., & Ramana, Ch. V. (2013). Neurosporene is the major carotenoid accumulated by Rhodobacter viridis JA737. Biotechnology Letters, 35(7), 1093–1097

[4] Measured using the PAOT® Technology which estimates total antioxydant power by registering electrochemical potential modifications in the reaction medium