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Neoxanthin is a major carotenoid pigment of spinach, found in the chloroplast membrane of higher plants and algae, and has an unknown function in plants. The location of the neoxanthin binding site in CP26 and CP29 was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis. Neoxanthin is a precursor of the plant hormone abscisic acid and the last product of carotenoid synthesis in green plants. It inhibited the production of superoxide onions in an artificial xanthine and xanthine oxidase system and depressed DNA synthesis in methylcholanthrene (MCA)-initiated C3H10T1/2 fibroblasts.