Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso


  • Juli PeretóEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1395


Rubisco is the acronym of d-ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase. This  enzyme catalyzes the carboxylation of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) as a first step in the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle yielding two molecules of 3-phosphoglycerate. It is a fundamental activity for many autotrophic systems. In the presence of molecular oxygen, the enzyme oxygenates RuBP, yielding a molecule of 3-phosphoglycerate and one of phosphoglycolate (representing a loss of carbon). Rubisco is an old enzyme with a wide phylogenetic distribution among bacteria and archaea. It has been also involved in other, non-autotrophic metabolic functions like a more efficient use of carbohydrates to synthesize lipids in developing plant embryos. Its enigmatic presence also in non-autotrophic species opens the range of its metabolic functions.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain