Subcellular Localization of Enzymes Involved in Indole Alkaloid Biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus

Plant Physiol. 1987 Dec;85(4):1099-102. doi: 10.1104/pp.85.4.1099.


The subcellular localization of enzymes involved in indole alkaloid biosynthesis in leaves of Catharanthus roseus has been investigated. Tryptophan decarboxylase and strictosidine synthase which together produce strictosidine, the first indole alkaloid of this pathway, are both cytoplasmic enzymes. S-Adenosyl-l-methionine: 16-methoxy-2,3-dihydro-3-hydroxytabersonine-N-methyltransferase which catalyses the third to last step in vindoline biosynthesis could be localized in the chloroplasts of Catharanthus leaves and is specifically associated with thylakoids. Acetyl-coenzyme-A-deacetylvindoline-O-acetyltransferase which catalyses the last step in vindoline biosynthesis could also be localized in the cytoplasm. The participation of the chloroplast in this pathway suggests that indole alkaloid intermediates enter and exit this compartment during the biosynthesis of vindoline.