Green Light for Steroid Hormones

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Science  19 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5260, pp. 370-371
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5260.370


Plants do not use steroid hormones for intercellular communication. In his Perspective, D. Russell describes how this truism is now proven incorrect by two papers—one in this week's issue of Science (Li et al., p. 398) and one in the 19 April issue of Cell (M. Szekeres et al.)—in which two enzymes that synthesize steroid hormones are cloned from Arabidopsis. These enzymes, DET2 and CPD, are in the biosynthetic pathway for brassinolides, steroids that seem to participate in the regulation of gene expression by light.