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Tetrapyrroles pp 250-262 | Cite as

Regulation of Tetrapyrrole Synthesis in Higher Plants

  • Matthew J. Terry
  • Alison G. Smith
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)

Abstract

Regulation of the tetrapyrrole pathway in plants is particularly crucial, since it is required for efficient synthesis of the photosynthetic apparatus, protection from the harmful phototoxicity of the pathway intermediates, and because of the proposed role played by some of the intermediates in signaling. The four major products, chlorophyll, haem, sirohaem and phytochromobilin, all need to be assembled with their respective apoproteins and the production of both components needs to be carefully coordinated. This is especially true as many tetrapyrroles such as the chlorophylls and their precursors are extremely phototoxic as free compounds. The major control points of the pathway are: the formation of the initial precursor, 5-aminolaevulinic acid; and the metal-ion insertion steps at the branchpoint between haem and Mg-protoporphyrin, and the formation of sirohaem. Because of the necessary complexity of tetrapyrrole regulation a wide range of regulatory mechanisms are employed, including transcriptional regulation of key genes in response to both environmental and internal cues, and internal pathway regulation by dedicated regulatory proteins and pathway intermediates. Moreover, genetic and microarray evidence indicates a link between the flux through the pathway and expression of genes encoding chlorophyll apoproteins. Here we discuss our current understanding of how these mechanisms are coordinated to control flux through the pathway to meet the requirements of the cell under different conditions.

Keywords

Nuclear Gene Expression Tetrapyrrole Biosynthesis Plastid Signal Uroporphyrinogen Decarboxylase HEMA Gene 
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.

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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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