Feb 5, 1976

Biosynthesis of porphyrins and corrins

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
A R Battersby, E McDonald


Haem, chlorophyll and vitamin B12 are all derived ultimately from four molecules of the pyrrole porphobilinogen (PBG) and the initial enzyme catalysed condensation of PBG leads to the unsymmetrical type III isomer of uroporphyrinogen. On the basis of straightforward chemical considerations the type I isomer should be formed and so the porphyrinogen-forming enzymes of all living systems must catalyse a highly specific rearrangement process. The nature and chemical mechanism of this rearrangement poses one of the most fascinating problems in the porphyrin field and so it is not surprising that over 20 hypothetical schemes have been proposed to account for it. Analysis of the problem suggested that the incorporation of doubly 13C-labelled precursors into the rearranged macrocyclic rings would give valuable new information on the nature of the rearrangement process. In this approach the meso=bridge atoms are of crucial importance, and several unambiguous syntheses of 13C-labelled pyrroles and porphyrins were developed to allow rigorous n.m.r. assignments to be made, and also to provide substrates for enzymic experiments. Studies carried out with enzymes from both avian blood and from Euglena gracilis have revealed the precise natur...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Antithrombin III, Human
Vitamin B 12
Hypersensitivity Reaction Mediated by Immune Complex
Biologic Development
Cobyrinic acid

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