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Plant Physiol. 1993 Jun;102(2):373-378.

Two Related Biosynthetic Pathways of Mugineic Acids in Gramineous Plants.

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Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka, 618, Japan.


The biosynthesis of mugineic acids was studied by feeding 2H- or 13C-labeled compounds to water-cultured roots in several gramineous plants. The fate of labeled compounds was monitored by using 2H- and 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance. On investigating the proton changes during biosynthesis by feeding D,L-[3,3,4,4-d4]-methionine (98.6% 2H), 2H-labeled 2[prime]-deoxymugineic, mugineic, and 3-epihydroxymugineic acids were isolated from root washings of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv Minori), barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv Minorimugi), and beer barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv AM Nijo Tochigi), respectively. The 2H-nuclear magnetic resonance study indicated that 12 deuteriums were incorporated into the labeled 2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid, suggesting that three molecules of L-[3,3,4,4-d4]methionine were combined. In comparison, one of the deuteriums at C-2[prime] position in the mugineic acid, and one each of the deuteriums at C-2[prime] and C-3 positions in the 3-epihydroxymugineic acid, were lost. However, all other deuteriums were incorporated in a manner similar to that of the labeled 2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid. When [1,4[prime],4"-13C3]2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid (20% 13C) was fed to oat roots (Avena sativa L. cv Amuri II), avenic acid A, which was 13C enriched at the corresponding positions, was obtained. These results revealed that L-methionine was the precursor for all these mugineic acids and that cleavage of the azetidine ring or hydroxylation of the 2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid produced two related biosynthetic pathways in different gramineous plant species: L-methionine -> 2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid -> avenic acid A in oat; and L-methionine -> 2[prime]-deoxymugineic acid -> mugineic acid -> 3-epihydroxymugineic acid in barley and beer barley.

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