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Issue 10, 2008
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Function and distribution of bilin biosynthesis enzymes in photosynthetic organisms

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Abstract

Bilins are open-chain tetrapyrrole molecules essential for light-harvesting and/or sensing in many photosynthetic organisms. While they serve as chromophores in phytochrome-mediated light-sensing in plants, they additionally function in light-harvesting in cyanobacteria, red algae and cryptomonads. Associated to phycobiliproteins a variety of bile pigments is responsible for the specific light-absorbance properties of the organisms enabling efficient photosynthesis under different light conditions. The initial step of bilin biosynthesis is the cleavage of heme by heme oxygenases (HO) to afford the first linear molecule biliverdin. This reaction is ubiquitously found also in non-photosynthetic organisms. Biliverdin is then further reduced by site specific reductases most of them belonging to the interesting family of ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs)—a new family of radical oxidoreductases. In recent years much progress has been made in the field of heme oxygenases but even more in the widespread family of FDBRs, revealing novel biochemical FDBR activities, new crystal structures and new ecological aspects, including the discovery of bilin biosynthesis genes in wild marine phage populations. The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the recent progress in this field and to highlight the new and remaining questions.

Graphical abstract: Function and distribution of bilin biosynthesis enzymes in photosynthetic organisms

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Apr 2008, accepted on 18 Jun 2008 and first published on 07 Jul 2008


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B807209B
Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2008,7, 1121-1130

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    Function and distribution of bilin biosynthesis enzymes in photosynthetic organisms

    T. Dammeyer and N. Frankenberg-Dinkel, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2008, 7, 1121
    DOI: 10.1039/B807209B

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