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Open Access Research article

Degradation of lipoxygenase-derived oxylipins by glyoxysomes from sunflower and cucumber cotyledons

Danilo Meyer, Cornelia Herrfurth, Florian Brodhun and Ivo Feussner*

Author Affiliations

Georg-August-University, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, Department for Plant Biochemistry, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 11, Göttingen D-37075, Germany

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BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:177  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-177

Published: 9 November 2013



Oilseed germination is characterized by the degradation of storage lipids. It may proceed either via the direct action of a triacylglycerol lipase, or in certain plant species via a specific lipid body 13-lipoxygenase. For the involvement of a lipoxygenase previous results suggested that the hydroxy- or oxo-group that is being introduced into the fatty acid backbone by this lipoxygenase forms a barrier to continuous β-oxidation.


This study shows however that a complete degradation of oxygenated fatty acids is possible by isolated cucumber and sunflower glyoxysomes. Interestingly, degradation is accompanied by the formation of saturated short chain acyl-CoAs with chain length between 4 and 12 carbon atoms lacking the hydroxy- or oxo-diene system of the oxygenated fatty acid substrate. The presence of these CoA esters suggests the involvement of a specific reduction of the diene system at a chain length of 12 carbon atoms including conversion of the hydroxy-group at C7.


To our knowledge this metabolic pathway has not been described for the degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acids so far. It may represent a new principle to degrade oxygenated fatty acid derivatives formed by lipoxygenases or chemical oxidation initiated by reactive oxygen species.

CoA-ester; Electrophiles; Lipid oxidation; Lipoxygenase pathway; β-oxidation