Biology and Biochemistry of Glucosinolates

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:303-33. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.57.032905.105228.

Abstract

Glucosinolates are sulfur-rich, anionic natural products that upon hydrolysis by endogenous thioglucosidases called myrosinases produce several different products (e.g., isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, and nitriles). The hydrolysis products have many different biological activities, e.g., as defense compounds and attractants. For humans these compounds function as cancer-preventing agents, biopesticides, and flavor compounds. Since the completion of the Arabidopsis genome, glucosinolate research has made significant progress, resulting in near-complete elucidation of the core biosynthetic pathway, identification of the first regulators of the pathway, metabolic engineering of specific glucosinolate profiles to study function, as well as identification of evolutionary links to related pathways. Although much has been learned in recent years, much more awaits discovery before we fully understand how and why plants synthesize glucosinolates. This may enable us to more fully exploit the potential of these compounds in agriculture and medicine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Glucosinolates / biosynthesis
  • Glucosinolates / chemistry
  • Glucosinolates / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism

Substances

  • Glucosinolates