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Phytochemistry. 2002 Sep;61(2):205-15.

Glycerol and glyceryl esters of omega-hydroxyacids in cutins.

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Centro de Estudos Florestais, Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 1349-017, Lisbon, Portugal.


Cutins from the leaves and fruits of seven plant species were depolymerized by NaOCH(3)-methanolysis. The monomers that were released mostly included C16 and C18 omega-hydroxyacids with mid-chain oxygenated substitutions, namely epoxy and hydroxyl groups. Glycerol was also solubilized as a monomer in quantities that ranged from 1 to 14% of the methanolysates. Partial depolymerization of three cutins by CaO-methanolysis released the same monomers as had been obtained in the previous reaction, as well as small quantities of 1- and 2-monoacylglyceryl esters of omega-hydroxyacids. Molar proportions of glycerol permit the esterification of a significant part of the aliphatic omega-hydroxyacids, thereby possibly playing a major role in the polyester structure of cutin. Glycerol had not previously been known to form part of the cutin polymer.

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