Exploiting enzyme promiscuity to shape plant specialized metabolism

Kreis W, Munkert J (2019)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2019


Book Volume: 70

Pages Range: 1435-1445

Journal Issue: 5

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erz025


The amazing variability of plant metabolism and its rapid divergence during evolution pose fundamental questions as to the driving forces, mechanisms and players in metabolic differentiation. This review examines concepts that help us understand adaptive pathway evolution, with a particular emphasis on plant specialized metabolism, previously often termed secondary metabolism. Following a general introduction to pathway and metabolite evolution the focus is directed to enzyme promiscuity and its classification. Promiscuous enzymes (or substrates), ‘silent’ elements of the metabolome and the metabolic underground, may be used and combined to evolve ‘new’ metabolic pathways. It appears that new pathways are rarely designed from scratch, but instead emerge from ‘floppy’ enzymes and elements of a ‘messy’ metabolism, in this way generating a range of metabolites some of which may provide benefits to the plant.

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Kreis, W., & Munkert, J. (2019). Exploiting enzyme promiscuity to shape plant specialized metabolism. Journal of Experimental Botany, 70(5), 1435-1445. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erz025


Kreis, Wolfgang, and Jennifer Munkert. "Exploiting enzyme promiscuity to shape plant specialized metabolism." Journal of Experimental Botany 70.5 (2019): 1435-1445.

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