Redox-shuttling between chloroplast and cytosol: integration of intra-chloroplast and extra-chloroplast metabolism

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2012 Jun;15(3):252-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2012.01.014. Epub 2012 Feb 13.


Reducing equivalents produced in the chloroplast are essential for many key cellular metabolic enzyme reactions. Two redox shuttle systems transfer reductant out of the chloroplast; these systems consist of metabolite transporters, coupled with stromal and cytosolic dehydrogenase isozymes. The transporters function in the redox shuttle and also operate as key enzymes in carbon/nitrogen metabolism. To maintain adequate levels of reductant and proper metabolic balance, the shuttle systems are finely controlled. Also, in the leaves of C(4) plants, cell-specific division of carbon and nitrogen assimilation includes cell-specific localization of the redox shuttle systems. The redox shuttle systems are tightly linked to cellular metabolic pathways and are essential for maintaining metabolic balance between energy and reducing equivalents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Citric Acid Cycle / physiology
  • Cytosol / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photosynthesis / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology


  • Carbon
  • Nitrogen