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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The biosynthesis of cyanogenic glucosides in higher plants. Identification of three hydroxylation steps in the biosynthesis of dhurrin in Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench and the involvement of 1-ACI-nitro-2-(p-hydroxyphenyl)ethane as an intermediate.

N-Hydroxytyrosine, (E)- and (Z)-p-hydroxyphenyl-acetaldehyde oxime, p-hydroxyphenylacetonitrile, and p-hydroxymandelonitrile are established intermediates in the biosynthesis of the tyrosine-derived cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin (Halkier, B. A., Olsen, C. E., and Møller, B. L. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 19487-19494. Simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumption and biosynthetic activity using a microsomal enzyme system isolated from etiolated sorghum seedlings demonstrate a requirement for three oxygen molecules in the conversion of tyrosine to p-hydroxymandelonitrile. Two oxygen molecules are consumed in the conversion of tyrosine to (E)-p-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde oxime, indicating the existence of a previously undetected hydroxylation step in addition to that resulting in the formation of N-hydroxytyrosine. Radioactively labeled 1-nitro-2-(p-hydroxyphenyl)ethane was chemically synthesized and tested as a possible intermediate. Biosynthetic experiments demonstrate that the microsomal enzyme system metabolizes the nitro compound to the subsequent intermediates in dhurrin synthesis (Km = 0.05 mM; Vmax = 14 nmol/mg of protein/h). Low amounts of 1-nitro-2-(p-hydroxyphenyl)ethane are produced in the microsomal reaction mixtures when tyrosine is used as substrate. These data support the involvement of 1-nitro-2-(p-hydroxyphenyl)ethane or more likely its aci-nitro tautomer as an intermediate between N-hydroxytyrosine and p-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde oxime. The conversion of (E)-p-hydroxyphenylacetaldehydeoxime to p-hydroxymandelonitrile requires a single oxygen molecule. The oxygen molecule is utilized for hydroxylation of p-hydroxyphenylacetonitrile into p-hydroxymandelonitrile. This indicates that the conversion of p-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde oxime into p-hydroxyphenylacetonitrile proceeds by a simple dehydration reaction.[1]


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