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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1990 Feb 1;276(2):518-26.

Allene oxide cyclase: a new enzyme in plant lipid metabolism.

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Department of Physiological Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The mechanism of the biosynthesis of 12-oxo-10,15(Z)-phytodienoic acid (12-oxo-PDA) from 13(S)-hydroperoxy-9(Z),11(E),15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid in preparations of corn (Zea mays L.) was studied. In the initial reaction the hydroperoxide was converted into an unstable allene oxide, 12,13(S)-epoxy-9(Z),11,15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid, by action of a particle-bound hydroperoxide dehydrase. A new enzyme, allene oxide cyclase, catalyzed subsequent cyclization of allene oxide into 9(S),13(S)-12-oxo-PDA. In addition, because of its chemical instability, the allene oxide underwent competing nonenzymatic reactions such as hydrolysis into alpha- and gamma-ketol derivatives as well as spontaneous cyclization into racemic 12-oxo-PDA. (+/-)-cis-12,13-Epoxy-9(Z)-octadecenoic acid and (+/-)-cis-12,13-epoxy-9(Z),15(Z)-octadecadienoic acid, in which the epoxy group was located in the same position as in the allene oxide substrate, served as potent inhibitors of corn allene oxide cyclase. On the other hand, the isomeric (+/-)-cis-9,10-epoxy-12(Z)-octadecenoic acid had little inhibitory effect. Allene oxide cyclase was present in the soluble fraction of corn homogenate and had a molecular weight of about 45,000 as judged by gel filtration. The enzyme activity was detected in several plant tissues, the highest levels being observed in potato tubers and in leaves of spinach and white cabbage.

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