Oxidation of Membrane Lipids and Functions of Oxylipins

  • John BrowseEmail author
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 30)


The glycerolipids that make up the thylakoid bilayer contain exceptionally high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are very susceptible to oxidation, and the activated oxygen species generated as biproducts of photosynthesis will accelerate the initiation of peroxidation. Fortunately, the chloroplast is well protected from damage caused by fatty acid oxidation (as well as other oxidation reactions) by several antioxi-dant systems. Despite these systems, chemical peroxidation does occur — particularly after tissue damage from wounding or pathogen infection. The oxylipin compounds produced, including reactive electrophile species (RES), contribute to the induction of defense-gene expression and also act directly in defense against insects and microbes. Plants have evolved enzymatic pathways to facilitate the synthesis of particular oxylipin products, including several that are not synthesized by the chemical peroxidation reactions. The best known of these is the defense hormone, jasmonate, which acts through a specific signaling pathway to regulate plant responses. Jasmonate has additional roles in plant development and metabolic regulation. The recent discovery of a family of repressor proteins, the JAZ proteins that are targets of jasmonate signaling provide new tools to understand the mechanism of jasmonate action.


Divinyl Ether Methyl Vinyl Ketone Allene Oxide Cyclase Jasmonate Signaling Trienoic Fatty Acid 
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.







3-Oxo-2(2′-pentenyl)cyclopentane-1-octanoic acid


12-Oxo-phytodienoic acid


Reactive electrophile species



I wish to thank Joyce Tamura for typing the manuscript and Deirdre Fahy for preparing the figures. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy (grant number DE-FG03-99ER20323), U.S. National Science Foundation grant no. MCB-0420199 the National Research Initiative of the USDA CSREES grant no. 2006-35318-17797, and the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological ChemistryWashington State UniversityUSA

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