Contribution of the mevalonate and methylerythritol phosphate pathways to the biosynthesis of Gibberellins in Arabidopsis

Hiroyuki Kasahara, Atsushi Hanada, Tomohisa Kuzuyama, Motoki Takagi, Yuji Kamiya, Shinjiro Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)


Gibberellins (GAs) are diterpene plant hormones essential for many developmental processes. Although the GA biosynthesis pathway has been well studied, our knowledge on its early stage is still limited. There are two possible routes for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids leading to GAs, the mevalonate (MVA) pathway in the cytosol and the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway in plastids. To distinguish these possibilities, metabolites from each isoprenoid pathway were selectively labeled with 13C in Arabidopsis seedlings. Efficient 13C-labeling was achieved by blocking the endogenous pathway chemically or genetically during the feed of a 13C-labeled precursor specific to the MVA or MEP pathways. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses demonstrated that both MVA and MEP pathways can contribute to the biosyntheses of GAs and campesterol, a cytosolic sterol, in Arabidopsis seedlings. While GAs are predominantly synthesized through the MEP pathway, the MVA pathway plays a major role in the biosynthesis of campesterol. Consistent with some crossover between the two pathways, phenotypic defects caused by the block of the MVA and MEP pathways were partially rescued by exogenous application of the MEP and MVA precursors, respectively. We also provide evidence to suggest that the MVA pathway still contributes to GA biosynthesis when this pathway is limiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45188-45194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov 22
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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