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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 22;276(25):22901-9. Epub 2001 Mar 22.

1-Deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase, a limiting enzyme for plastidic isoprenoid biosynthesis in plants.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular de Plantas, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.


The initial step of the plastidic 2C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway that produces isopentenyl diphosphate is catalyzed by 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase. To investigate whether or not 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase catalyzes a limiting step in the MEP pathway in plants, we produced transgenic Arabidopsis plants that over- or underexpress this enzyme. Compared with non-transgenic wild-type plants, the transgenic plants accumulate different levels of various isoprenoids such as chlorophylls, tocopherols, carotenoids, abscisic acid, and gibberellins. Phenotypically, the transgenic plants had slight alterations in growth and germination rates. Because the levels of several plastidic isoprenoids correlate with changes in 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase levels, we conclude that this enzyme catalyzes one of the rate-limiting steps of the MEP biosynthetic pathway. Furthermore, since the product of the MEP pathway is isopentenyl diphosphate, our results suggest that in plastids the pool of isopentenyl diphosphate is limiting to isprenoid production.

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