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Prog Lipid Res. 2012 Apr;51(2):95-148. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

A raison d'être for two distinct pathways in the early steps of plant isoprenoid biosynthesis?

Author information

1
Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IBMP-CNRS-UPR2357, Université de Strasbourg, 28 Rue Goethe, F-67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France. Andrea.Hemmerlin@ibmp-cnrs.unistra.fr

Abstract

When compared to other organisms, plants are atypical with respect to isoprenoid biosynthesis: they utilize two distinct and separately compartmentalized pathways to build up isoprene units. The co-existence of these pathways in the cytosol and in plastids might permit the synthesis of many vital compounds, being essential for a sessile organism. While substrate exchange across membranes has been shown for a variety of plant species, lack of complementation of strong phenotypes, resulting from inactivation of either the cytosolic pathway (growth and development defects) or the plastidial pathway (pigment bleaching), seems to be surprising at first sight. Hundreds of isoprenoids have been analyzed to determine their biosynthetic origins. It can be concluded that in angiosperms, under standard growth conditions, C₂₀-phytyl moieties, C₃₀-triterpenes and C₄₀-carotenoids are made nearly exclusively within compartmentalized pathways, while mixed origins are widespread for other types of isoprenoid-derived molecules. It seems likely that this coexistence is essential for the interaction of plants with their environment. A major purpose of this review is to summarize such observations, especially within an ecological and functional context and with some emphasis on regulation. This latter aspect still requires more work and present conclusions are preliminary, although some general features seem to exist.

PMID:
22197147
DOI:
10.1016/j.plipres.2011.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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