The isoprostanoid pathway in plants

Chem Phys Lipids. 2004 Mar;128(1-2):135-48. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2003.10.002.


Higher plants are generally unable to synthesize arachidonic acid, and thus, do neither form prostaglandins nor C20-isoprostanes. Instead, plants utilize linolenic acid for the synthesis of prostaglandin-like compounds of the jasmonate type via the lipoxygenase/allene oxide synthase pathway and C18-isoprostanoids, termed phytoprostanes, via a nonenzymatic, free radical catalyzed pathway analogous to the isoprostane pathway in animals. Both pathways are constitutively present in many if not all plants. Formation of jasmonates can be triggered by specific stimuli interacting with membrane receptors while phytoprostane synthesis can be induced by ROS and heavy metals. Jasmonates are established plant signal compounds that induce defense responses including accumulation of antimicrobial secondary metabolites (phytoalexins). Preliminary data indicates that phytoprostanes also induce phytoalexins in a variety of plant species suggesting a possible function of phytoprostanes as mediators of defense reactions in response to oxidative stress in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Isoprostanes / classification
  • Isoprostanes / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Isoprostanes