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Biochem Soc Trans. 2005 Aug;33(Pt 4):743-6.

Pantothenate biosynthesis in higher plants.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK.


Pantothenate (vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the synthesis of CoA and ACP (acyl-carrier protein, cofactors in energy yielding reactions including carbohydrate metabolism and fatty acid synthesis. Pantothenate is synthesized de novo by plants and micro-organisms; however, animals obtain the vitamin through their diet. Utilizing our knowledge of the pathway in Escherichia coli, we have discovered and cloned genes encoding the first and last enzymes of the pathway from Arabidopsis, panB1, panB2 and panC. It is unlikely that there is a homologue of the E. coli panD gene, therefore plants must make beta-alanine by an alternative route. Possible candidates for the remaining gene, panE, are being investigated. GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusions of the three identified plant enzymes have been generated and the subcellular localization of the enzymes studied. Work is now being performed to elucidate expression patterns of the transcripts and characterize the proteins encoded by these genes.

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