Journal article

Metabolic origins and transport of vitamin e biosynthetic precursors

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  • Frontiers in Plant Science. - 2017, vol. 8
English Tocochromanols are organic compounds mostly produced by photosynthetic organisms that exhibit vitamin E activity in animals. They result from the condensation of homogentisate with four different polyprenyl side chains derived all from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. The core tocochromanol biosynthesis has been investigated in several photosynthetic organisms and is now well characterized. In contrast, our current knowledge of the biosynthesis and transport of tocochromanol biosynthetic precursors is much more limited. While tocochromanol synthesis occurs in plastids, converging genetic data in Arabidopsis and soybean demonstrate that the synthesis of the polar precursor homogentisate is located in the cytoplasm. These data implies that tocochromanol synthesis involves several plastidic membrane transporter(s) that remain to be identified. In addition, the metabolic origin of the lipophilic isoprenoid precursor is not fully elucidated. While some genetic data exclusively attribute the synthesis of the prenyl component of tocochromanols to the plastidic methyl erythritol phosphate pathway, multiple lines of evidence provided by feeding experiments and metabolic engineering studies indicate that it might partially originate from the cytoplasmic mevalonate pathway. Although this question is still open, these data demonstrate the existence of membrane transporter(s) capable of importing cytosolic polyprenyl pyrophosphate such as farnesyl pyrophosphate into plastids. Since the availability of both homogentisate and polyprenyl pyrophosphates are currently accepted as major mechanisms controlling the type and amount of tocochromanols produced in plant tissues, we summarized our current knowledge and research gaps concerning the biosynthesis, metabolic origins and transport of tocochromanol biosynthetic precursors in plant cells.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Biologie
  • English
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