Prephenate aminotransferase directs plant phenylalanine biosynthesis via arogenate

Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Jan;7(1):19-21. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.485. Epub 2010 Nov 21.


The aromatic amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine and their plant-derived natural products are essential in human and plant metabolism and physiology. Here we identified Petunia hybrida and Arabidopsis thaliana genes encoding prephenate aminotransferases (PPA-ATs), thus completing the identification of the genes involved in phenylalanine and tyrosine biosyntheses. Biochemical and genetic characterization of enzymes showed that PPA-AT directs carbon flux from prephenate toward arogenate, making the arogenate pathway predominant in plant phenylalanine biosynthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Cycle / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydro-Lyases / metabolism*
  • Phenylalanine / biosynthesis*
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Plants / enzymology*
  • Transaminases / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Tyrosine / biosynthesis


  • Plant Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Transaminases
  • prephenate aminotransferase
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • pretyrosine dehydratase