Chlorophyll biosynthesis: Spotlight on protochlorophyllide reduction

Christiane Reinbothe, Majida El Bakkouri, Frank Buhr, Norifumi Muraki, Jiro Nomata, Genji Kurisu, Yuichi Fujita, Steffen Reinbothe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)


Photosynthetic organisms require chlorophyll or bacteriochlorophyll for their light trapping and energy transduction activities. The biosynthetic pathways of chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll are similar in most of their early steps, except for the reduction of protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) to chlorophyllide. Whereas angiosperms make use of a light-dependent enzyme, cyanobacteria, algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes and gymnosperms contain an additional, light-independent enzyme dubbed dark-operative Pchlide oxidoreductase (DPOR). Anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria such as Rhodobacter capsulatus and Rhodobacter sphaeroides rely solely on DPOR. Recent atomic resolution of reductase and catalytic components of DPOR from R. sphaeroides and R. capsulatus, respectively, have revealed their similarity to nitrogenase components. In this review, we discuss the two fundamentally different mechanisms of Pchlide reduction in photosynthetic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-624
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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