Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 221–242

The common origins of the pigments of life—early steps of chlorophyll biosynthesis

  • Yael J. Avissar
  • Patricia A. Moberg
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Abstract

The complex pathway of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis can be dissected into five sections: the pathways that produce 5-aminolevulinate (the C-4 and the C-5 pathways), the steps that transform ALA to uroporphyrinogen III, which are ubiquitous in the biosynthesis of all tetrapyrroles, and the three branches producing specialized end products. These end products include corrins and siroheme, chlorophylls and hemes and linear tetrapyrroles. These branches have been subjects of recent reviews. This review concentrates on the early steps leading up to uroporphyrinogen III formation which have been investigated intensively in recent years in animals, in plants, and in a wide range of bacteria.

Key words

C-4 pathway C-5 pathway 5-aminolevulinate porphobilinogen hydroxymethylbilane uroporphyrinogen III chlorophyll heme pigment porphyrin tetrapyrrole 

Abbreviations

ALA

5-aminolevulinic acid

ALAS

5-aminolevulinic acid synthase

GR

glutamyl-tRNA reductase

GSA

glutamate-1-semialdehyde

GSAT

glutamate-1-semialdehyde aminotransferase

HMB

hydroxymethylbilane

PBG

porphobilinogen

PBGD

porphobilinogen deaminase

PBGS

porphobilinogen synthase

URO

uroporphyrin

URO'gen

uroporphyrinogen

US

uroporphyrinogen III synthase

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael J. Avissar
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Moberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyRhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCommunity College of Rhode IslandWarwickUSA

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