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Metabolic links between the biosynthesis of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and polyamines in root cultures of Senecio vulgaris
T. Hartmann, H. Sander, R. Adolph and G. Toppel
Vol. 175, No. 1 (1988), pp. 82-90
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23379251
Page Count: 9
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Isotope feeding and inhibitor experiments were performed in order to elucidate the pathway common to polyamine and alkaloid biosynthesis in root cultures of Senecio vulgaris L. α-Difluoromethylarginine, a specific inhibitor of arginine decarboxylase, prevented completely the incorporation of radioactivity from [14C]arginine and [14C]ornithine into spermidine and the pyrrolizidine alkaloid senecionine N-oxide. In contrast, α-difluoromethylornithine, a specific ornithine-decarboxylase inhibitor, had no effect on the flow of radioactivity from labelled ornithine and arginine into polyamines and alkaloids. Thus, putrescine, the common precursor of polyamines and pyrrolizidine alkaloids, is exclusively derived via the arginine-agmatine route. Ornithine is rapidly transformed into arginine. Recycling of the guanido moiety of agmatine back to ornithine can be excluded. Putrescine and spermidine were found to be reversibly interconvertable and to excist in a highly dynamic state. In contrast, senecionine N-oxide did not show any turnover but accumulated as a stable metabolic product. In-vivo evidence is presented that the carbon flow from arginine into the polyamine/alkaloid pathway may be controlled by spermidine. The possible importance of the metabolic coupling of pyrrolizidine-alkaloid biosynthesis to polyamine metabolism is discussed.
Planta © 1988 Springer