Geometrical E/Z isomers of (6R)- and (6S)-neoxanthin and biological implications

Biochem Syst Ecol. 2000 Jun 1;28(5):443-455. doi: 10.1016/s0305-1978(99)00078-2.


9'Z-(3S,5R,6R,3'S,5'R,6'S)-Neoxanthin reisolated from spinach (Spinacea oleracea) and characterized by HPLC, VIS, MS, and 2D (1)H NMR, has been submitted to photoinduced stereomutation in the presence of iodine or diphenyl diselenide at conditions not involving isomerization of the allenic bond. The six individual geometrical isomers, all-E,9Z,9'Z,13Z,13'Z,15Z and three minor di-Z-isomers, presumably 9,9'-di-Z,9',13-di-Z and 9',13'-di-Z, present in the equilibrium mixture have been characterized by HPLC, VIS data, 1H NMR and reversibility tests. Judged by the quantitative composition of the equilibrium mixture the naturally occurring 9'Z-isomer is thermodynamically less stable than the all-E-isomer. The availability of these isomers facilitates future search in natural sources. 9'Z-(6R90% of total neoxanthin in spinach and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica), consistent with previous findings of its abundance in chloroplasts. all-E90% of total violaxanthin in the same sources. It is postulated that a neoxanthin Delta9'-isomerase is present and involved in the biosynthesis of abscisic acid in higher plants. Allenic S-isomers are of interest as postulated biosynthetic precursors of R-allenes. All-E-(6S)- and 9'Z-(6S)-neoxanthin were available as semi-synthetic model compounds. The allenic (6S)-diastereomers could not be detected in spinach or broccoli.