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Topical Problems in the Biosynthesis of Red Blood Pigment

Authors

  • Prof. Dr. Burchard Franck

    Corresponding author
    1. Organisch-Chemisches Institut der Universität, Orléansring 23, D-4400 Münster (Germany)
    • Organisch-Chemisches Institut der Universität, Orléansring 23, D-4400 Münster (Germany)
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  • Based on a plenary lecture (Richard Kuhn Memorial Lecture) given in Tübingen on March 24, 1981 on the occasion of the Chemiedozenten-Tagung

Abstract

Uroporphyrinogen III plays a key role in the biosynthesis of heme, the red pigment of blood. In vivo studies with specifically 14C- and 3H-labeled precursors have revealed that the formation uroporphyrinogen III in the organism follows several primary and subsidiary pathways. Model experiments on the pattern of biosynthesis have led to simple and effective methods of synthesizing uroporphyrin analogs and have shown that their production is strongly favored thermodynamically. The biologically porphyrins important thus available permit a mechanistic explanation of the light-induced dermatoses in porphyria diseases and suggest promising medical applications in diagnosis and therapy.

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