Glycerol and glyceryl esters of omega-hydroxyacids in cutins

Phytochemistry. 2002 Sep;61(2):205-15. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(02)00212-1.


Cutins from the leaves and fruits of seven plant species were depolymerized by NaOCH(3)-methanolysis. The monomers that were released mostly included C16 and C18 omega-hydroxyacids with mid-chain oxygenated substitutions, namely epoxy and hydroxyl groups. Glycerol was also solubilized as a monomer in quantities that ranged from 1 to 14% of the methanolysates. Partial depolymerization of three cutins by CaO-methanolysis released the same monomers as had been obtained in the previous reaction, as well as small quantities of 1- and 2-monoacylglyceryl esters of omega-hydroxyacids. Molar proportions of glycerol permit the esterification of a significant part of the aliphatic omega-hydroxyacids, thereby possibly playing a major role in the polyester structure of cutin. Glycerol had not previously been known to form part of the cutin polymer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Esters / analysis*
  • Esters / chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Glycerol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycerol / analysis*
  • Glycerol / chemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plants / chemistry*


  • Esters
  • Membrane Lipids
  • cutin
  • Glycerol