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Eur J Biochem. 1998 Jan 15;251(1-2):413-7.

Metabolic compartmentation of plastid prenyllipid biosynthesis--evidence for the involvement of a multifunctional geranylgeranyl reductase.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


The addition of phytyl side chain to chlorophylls, tocopherols and phylloquinone is prerequisite to their integration into plastid membranes. We have cloned a cDNA encoding a pre-geranylgeranyl reductase from Arabidopsis thaliana. The deduced primary structure predicts a mature size with a molecular mass of 47 kDa and displays a characteristic dinucleotide binding domain. Geranylgeranyl reductase expressed in Escherichia coli sequentially catalyzes the reduction of geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll a into phytyl-chlorophyll a as well as the reduction of free geranylgeranyl diphosphate into phytyl diphosphate. Due to its multifunctionality and weak hydrophobicity, we suggest that in plastid the same geranylgeranyl reductase is recruited into the chlorophyll, the tocopherol and the phylloquinone pathways. The geranylgeranyl reductase gene is up-regulated during etioplast to chloroplast and chloroplast to chromoplast development.

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