Biosynthesis of the tetrapyrrole ring system

  • Georges N. Cohen


The pathways for the biosynthesis of chlorophyll and respiratory pigments of the heme type make use of the same series of reactions up to the protoporphyrin stage. Judicious use of isotopes, of cell preparations catalyzing some of the reactions involved and degradation techniques specially devised for the task, have allowed the brilliant elucidation of the pathway by several groups of workers, among which David Shemin occupies the main place.


Aminolevulinic Acid Chromatic Adaptation Porphobilinogen Deaminase Monomethyl Ester Linker Polypeptide 
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Selected references

The tetrapyrroles

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ALA synthesis

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Complementary chromatic adaptation

  1. N. Tandeau de Marsac, Chromatic adaptation by cyanobacteria, in The Molecular Biology of Plastids and Mitochondria ( L. Bogorad and I. K. Vasil, eds.) Academic Press, Inc., New York (1991).Google Scholar

The effect of sulfur starvation on chromatic adaptation

  1. D. Mazel and P. Marlière, Nature, 341, 245–248 (1989).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges N. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueParisFrance
  2. 2.Institut PasteurParisFrance

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