Biosynthesis of Gossypol

  • P. Heinstein
  • R. Widmaier
  • P. Wegner
  • J. Howe
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 12)


Gossypol, a yellow, phenolic compound is found in specific pigment glands distributed throughout plants belonging to the generaGossypium(cotton),Cienfuegosia,ThespesiaandKokia 18. Its structure has been elucidated by Adamset al.1as 1,1’,6,6’, 7,7’-hexahydroxyl- 3,3’-dimethyl-5,5’-diisopropyl-2,2’-binaphthyl- 8,8’-dialdehyde. Increased attention started to focus on gossypol as a result of the finding that it was responsible for the toxicity of raw cottonseed meal to monogastric animals3. For example pigs fed cottonseed meal diets containing gossypol will accumulate gossypol in most organs25, in a bound form. In view of the well known interaction of gossypol with proteins, more specifically the ε-NH2 group of lysine19, it seems possible that bound gossypol is actually a gossypol-protein complex. Furthermore, the binding of gossypol to proteins28could account for the loss of the nutritional protein quality of cottonseed meal upon heating and exposure to alkaline conditions during solvent extraction of gossypol from raw cottonseed meal, to render cottonseed flower nontoxic for human consumption.


Cotton Plant Farnesyl Pyrophosphate Pigment Gland Cotton Root Hexamethyl Ether 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Heinstein
    • 1
  • R. Widmaier
    • 1
  • P. Wegner
    • 1
  • J. Howe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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