Specific Oxidative Cleavage of Carotenoids by VP14 of Maize

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1872-1874
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1872

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The plant growth regulator abscisic acid (ABA) is formed by the oxidative cleavage of an epoxy-carotenoid. The synthesis of other apocarotenoids, such as vitamin A in animals, may occur by a similar mechanism. In ABA biosynthesis, oxidative cleavage is the first committed reaction and is believed to be the key regulatory step. A new ABA-deficient mutant of maize has been identified and the corresponding gene, Vp14, has been cloned. The recombinant VP14 protein catalyzes the cleavage of 9-cis-epoxy-carotenoids to form C25 apo-aldehydes and xanthoxin, a precursor of ABA in higher plants.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: zeevaart{at}

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