Chapter 3 Control of the Metabolic Flow in Tetrapyrrole Biosynthesis: Regulation of Expression and Activity of Enzymes in the Mg Branch of Tetrapyrrole Biosynthesis

  • Bernhard Grimm
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 31)


The complex regulation, metabolism and physiology of the Mg branch of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis have developed into an attractive research area. Any change in plant development as well as in growth and environmental conditions provokes changes in metabolic activities of chlorophyll synthesis including de novo synthesis of proteins and cofactors, as well as protein modification and degradation. Transcriptional and different posttranslational control mechanisms have been reported for chlorophyll synthesis, which underscore the need for a very dynamic and flexible regulatory system. In the following paragraphs the enzymes of the Mg branch and their unique catalytic reactions are introduced. The control of expression and posttranslational modification of enzymes, the association of enzymes with cofactors and other compounds and the assembly into protein complexes as well as the activation mechanisms of these enzymes will be surveyed. Furthermore, the review discusses particular regulatory incentives originating from the Mg branch to be advantageous for the entire tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway and, hence, for chloroplast development. It also comments on the significant gaps in our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of the Mg branch of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis.


Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Nuclear Gene Expression Tetrapyrrole Biosynthesis Hexameric Ring Tetrapyrrole Biosynthetic Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



– 5-aminolevulinic acid


–S-Adenosyl-L-methionine:Mg protoporphyrin IX methyltransferase


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biology/Plant PhysiologyHumboldt UniversityGermany

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