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Fiedler, Erich; Soll, Jürgen and Schultz, Gernot (1982): The formation of homogentisate in the biosynthesis of tocopherol and plastoquinone in spinach chloroplasts. In: Planta, Vol. 155, No. 6: pp. 511-515 [PDF, 456kB]


Homogentisate is the precursor in the biosynthesis of -tocopherol and plastoquinone-9 in chloroplasts. It is formed of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate of the shikimate pathway by the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase. In experiments with spinach the dioxygenase was shown to be localized predominatedly in the chloroplasts. Envelope membranes exhibit the highest specific activity, however, because of the high stromal portion of chloroplasts, 60–80% of the total activity is housed in the stroma. The incorporation of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate into 2-methyl-6-phytylquinol as the first intermediate in the tocopherol synthesis by the two-step-reaction: 4-Hydroxyphenylpyruvate Homogentisate 2-Methyl-6-phytylquinol was demonstrated by using envelope membranes. Homogentisate originates directly from 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate of the shikimate pathway. Additionally, a bypass exists in chloroplasts which forms 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate from tyrosine by an L-amino-acid oxidase of the thylakoids and in peroxisomes by a transaminase reaction. Former results about the dioxygenase in peroxisomes were verified.

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