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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


ORTEGA-RODES, Patricia; GRIMM, Bernhard  and  ORTEGA, Eduardo. Evolutionary, physiological and biotechnological aspects of ferrochelatase and heme in higher plants. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.3, pp.176-186. ISSN 1027-2852.

Heme, is a cofactor for essential proteins, it is synthesized after the insertion of Fe2+ into protoporphyrin ring by the ferrochelatase (FC) enzyme. Although FC is well described, there are still major questions about the regulation of the heme biosynthetic pathway, and the localization of the enzyme in plants. This review provides a comprehensive survey of research on function and the metabolism of heme in plants including the unique properties of the plant heme metabolism. We will summarize the knowledge of the expression, reaction mechanism, localization and the phylogeny of FC. Increasing the heme iron content in plant foods is a biotechnological challenge to improve the dietary intake of iron in the population; it is known that heme-contained iron is absorbed 5-10 times higher than non-heme iron.

Keywords : tetrapyrrole; iron; evolution; biotechnological plant improving.

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