Mechanistic aspects of carotenoid biosynthesis

Alexander R. Moïse, Salim Al-Babili, Eleanore T. Wurtzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Carotenoid synthesis is based on the analysis of the phenotype of several mutant strains of tomato lacking carotenoid synthetic genes. Carotenoids are tetraterpenes derived through the condensation of the five-carbon (C5) universal isoprenoid precursors isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). A recently developed concept that could explain the role of the poly-cis pathway in carotenoid synthesis is that the intermediates of this pathway have additional physiological roles that extend beyond serving as precursors of lycopene. This concept is based on the analysis of the phenotype of several mutant strains of tomato lacking carotenoid synthetic genes. The feedback regulation of early carotenoid synthetic genes in response to a block in upstream metabolism represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of the mechanism and regulation of carotenoid synthesis and of metabolic regulation in general. The molecular details of a signaling pathway that regulates carotenogenesis in response to the levels of carotenoid precursors are still unclear.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-193
Number of pages30
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 31 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The carotenoid and retinoid research in the Moise lab is supported by startup funds provided by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, by a grant from the National Institutes of Health Grants 5P20RR017708-10, and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of Kansas. The carotenoid research in the Al-Babili lab was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grant number AL 892/1-4. The carotenoid research in the Wurtzel lab has been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Rockefeller Foundation International Rice Biotechnology Program, McKnight Foundation, American Cancer Society, U.S. National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, PSC-CUNY, and New York State. We thank Dr. Brian Blagg, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas, for critical comments and important suggestions on the manuscript. We thank Dr. Alfonso Prado-Cabrero, Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, for his contributions and suggestions for the illustration used for Cover Art and the Table of Contents.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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