Phytochelatins: The Principal Heavy-Metal Complexing Peptides of Higher Plants

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Science  08 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4726, pp. 674-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4726.674


A set of novel heavy-metal complexing peptides was isolated from plant cell suspension cultures; the structure of the peptides was established as (γ-glutamic acid-cysteine)n-glycine (n = 3 to 7). These peptides appear upon induction of plant cells with heavy metals and represent the principal metal-binding activities in the cells. The name phytochelatin is proposed for this new class of natural products.

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