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Arabidopsis Book. 2011;9:e0145. doi: 10.1199/tab.0145. Epub 2011 Jul 31.

Tetrapyrrole Metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Higher plants produce four classes of tetrapyrroles, namely, chlorophyll (Chl), heme, siroheme, and phytochromobilin. In plants, tetrapyrroles play essential roles in a wide range of biological activities including photosynthesis, respiration and the assimilation of nitrogen/sulfur. All four classes of tetrapyrroles are derived from a common biosynthetic pathway that resides in the plastid. In this article, we present an overview of tetrapyrrole metabolism in Arabidopsis and other higher plants, and we describe all identified enzymatic steps involved in this metabolism. We also summarize recent findings on Chl biosynthesis and Chl breakdown. Recent advances in this field, in particular those on the genetic and biochemical analyses of novel enzymes, prompted us to redraw the tetrapyrrole metabolic pathways. In addition, we also summarize our current understanding on the regulatory mechanisms governing tetrapyrrole metabolism. The interactions of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and other cellular processes including the plastid-to-nucleus signal transduction are discussed.

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