Regulation of the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway leading to heme and chlorophyll in plants and cyanobacteria

Authors

  • Dmitrii V. Vavilin,

    1. Department of Plant Biology and Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis, Arizona State University, Box 871601, Tempe, AZ 85287–1601, USA
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  • Wim F. J. Vermaas

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plant Biology and Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis, Arizona State University, Box 871601, Tempe, AZ 85287–1601, USA
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*Corresponding author, e-mail: wim@asu.edu

Abstract

Photosynthetic organisms synthesize chlorophylls, hemes, and bilin pigments via a common tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway. This review summarizes current knowledge about the regulation of this pathway in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Particular emphasis is placed on the regulation of glutamate-1-semialdehyde formation and on the channelling of protoporphyrin IX into the heme and chlorophyll branches. The potential role of chlorophyll molecules that are not bound to photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes (‘free chlorophylls’) or of other Mg-containing porphyrins in regulation of tetrapyrrole synthesis is also discussed.

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