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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2007;58:321-46.

Tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in higher plants.

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1
Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, N19 W8 Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan. rtanaka@lowtem.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract

Tetrapyrroles play vital roles in various biological processes, including photosynthesis and respiration. Higher plants contain four classes of tetrapyrroles, namely, chlorophyll, heme, siroheme, and phytochromobilin. All of the tetrapyrroles are derived from a common biosynthetic pathway. Here we review recent progress in the research of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis from a cellular biological view. The progress consists of biochemical, structural, and genetic analyses, which contribute to our understanding of how the flow and the synthesis of tetrapyrrole molecules are regulated and how the potentially toxic intermediates of tetrapyrrole synthesis are maintained at low levels. We also describe interactions of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and other cellular processes including the stay-green events, the cell-death program, and the plastid-to-nucleus signal transduction. Finally, we present several reports on attempts for agricultural and horticultural applications in which the tetrapyrrole biosynthesis pathway was genetically modified.

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