Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Pheophytin pheophorbide hydrolase (pheophytinase) is involved in chlorophyll breakdown during leaf senescence in Arabidopsis


Schelbert, S; Aubry, S; Burla, B; Agne, B; Kessler, F; Krupinska, K; Hörtensteiner, S (2009). Pheophytin pheophorbide hydrolase (pheophytinase) is involved in chlorophyll breakdown during leaf senescence in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 21(3):767-785.

Abstract

During leaf senescence, chlorophyll is removed from thylakoid membranes and converted in a multistep pathway to colorless breakdown products that are stored in vacuoles. Dephytylation, an early step of this pathway, increases water solubility of the breakdown products. It is widely accepted that chlorophyll is converted into pheophorbide via chlorophyllide. However, chlorophyllase, which converts chlorophyll to chlorophyllide, was found not to be essential for dephytylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we identify pheophytinase (PPH), a chloroplast-located and senescence-induced hydrolase widely distributed in algae and land plants. In vitro, Arabidopsis PPH specifically dephytylates the Mg-free chlorophyll pigment, pheophytin (phein), yielding pheophorbide. An Arabidopsis mutant deficient in PPH (pph-1) is unable to degrade chlorophyll during senescence and therefore exhibits a stay-green phenotype. Furthermore, pph-1 accumulates phein during senescence. Therefore, PPH is an important component of the chlorophyll breakdown machinery of senescent leaves, and we propose that the sequence of early chlorophyll catabolic reactions be revised. Removal of Mg most likely precedes dephytylation, resulting in the following order of early breakdown intermediates: chlorophyll --> pheophytin --> pheophorbide. Chlorophyllide, the last precursor of chlorophyll biosynthesis, is most likely not an intermediate of breakdown. Thus, chlorophyll anabolic and catabolic reactions are metabolically separated.

Abstract

During leaf senescence, chlorophyll is removed from thylakoid membranes and converted in a multistep pathway to colorless breakdown products that are stored in vacuoles. Dephytylation, an early step of this pathway, increases water solubility of the breakdown products. It is widely accepted that chlorophyll is converted into pheophorbide via chlorophyllide. However, chlorophyllase, which converts chlorophyll to chlorophyllide, was found not to be essential for dephytylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we identify pheophytinase (PPH), a chloroplast-located and senescence-induced hydrolase widely distributed in algae and land plants. In vitro, Arabidopsis PPH specifically dephytylates the Mg-free chlorophyll pigment, pheophytin (phein), yielding pheophorbide. An Arabidopsis mutant deficient in PPH (pph-1) is unable to degrade chlorophyll during senescence and therefore exhibits a stay-green phenotype. Furthermore, pph-1 accumulates phein during senescence. Therefore, PPH is an important component of the chlorophyll breakdown machinery of senescent leaves, and we propose that the sequence of early chlorophyll catabolic reactions be revised. Removal of Mg most likely precedes dephytylation, resulting in the following order of early breakdown intermediates: chlorophyll --> pheophytin --> pheophorbide. Chlorophyllide, the last precursor of chlorophyll biosynthesis, is most likely not an intermediate of breakdown. Thus, chlorophyll anabolic and catabolic reactions are metabolically separated.

Statistics

Citations

205 citations in Web of Science®
215 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

7 downloads since deposited on 10 Jun 2009
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:20 March 2009
Deposited On:10 Jun 2009 13:11
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 19:52
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists
ISSN:1040-4651
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.108.064089
PubMed ID:19304936

Download