Altered methionine metabolism impacts phenylpropanoid production and plant development in Arabidopsis thaliana

Doosan Shin, Veronica C. Perez, Gabriella K. Dickinson, Haohao Zhao, Ru Dai, Breanna Tomiczek, Keun Ho Cho, Ning Zhu, Jin Koh, Alexander Grenning, Jeongim Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Phenylpropanoids are specialized metabolites derived from phenylalanine. Glucosinolates are defense compounds derived mainly from methionine and tryptophan in Arabidopsis. It was previously shown that the phenylpropanoid pathway and glucosinolate production are metabolically linked. The accumulation of indole-3-acetaldoxime (IAOx), the precursor of tryptophan-derived glucosinolates, represses phenylpropanoid biosynthesis through accelerated degradation of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL). As PAL functions at the entry point of the phenylpropanoid pathway, which produces indispensable specialized metabolites such as lignin, aldoxime-mediated phenylpropanoid repression is detrimental to plant survival. Although methionine-derived glucosinolates in Arabidopsis are abundant, any impact of aliphatic aldoximes (AAOx) derived from aliphatic amino acids such as methionine on phenylpropanoid production remains unclear. Here, we investigate the impact of AAOx accumulation on phenylpropanoid production using Arabidopsis aldoxime mutants, ref2 and ref5. REF2 and REF5 metabolize aldoximes to respective nitrile oxides redundantly, but with different substrate specificities. ref2 and ref5 mutants have decreased phenylpropanoid contents due to the accumulation of aldoximes. As REF2 and REF5 have high substrate specificity toward AAOx and IAOx, respectively, it was assumed that ref2 accumulates AAOx, not IAOx. Our study indicates that ref2 accumulates both AAOx and IAOx. Removing IAOx partially restored phenylpropanoid content in ref2, but not to the wild-type level. However, when AAOx biosynthesis was silenced, phenylpropanoid production and PAL activity in ref2 were completely restored, suggesting an inhibitory effect of AAOx on phenylpropanoid production. Further feeding studies revealed that the abnormal growth phenotype commonly observed in Arabidopsis mutants lacking AAOx production is a consequence of methionine accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-200
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • aldoximes
  • aliphatic aldoximes
  • aliphatic glucosinolates
  • growth and development
  • methionine
  • phenylpropanoids

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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