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In plants, the deoxy sugar l-rhamnose is widely present as rhamnose-containing polymers in cell walls and as part of the decoration of various specialized metabolites. Here, we review the current knowledge on the distribution of rhamnose, highlighting the differences between what is known in dicotyledoneuos compared to commelinid monocotyledoneous (grasses) plants. We discuss the biosynthesis and transport of UDP-rhamnose, as well as the transfer of rhamnose from UDP-rhamnose to various primary and specialized metabolites. This is carried out by rhamnosyltransferases, enzymes that can use a large variety of substrates. Some unique characteristics of rhamnose synthases, the multifunctional enzymes responsible for the conversion of UDP-glucose into UDP-rhamnose, are considered, particularly from the perspective of their ability to convert glucose present in flavonoids. Finally, we discuss how little is still known with regards to how plants rescue rhamnose from the many compounds to which it is linked, or how rhamnose is catabolized. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Nan Jiang, Francisco M Dillon, Alexander Silva, Lina Gomez-Cano, Erich Grotewold. Rhamnose in plants - from biosynthesis to diverse functions. Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology. 2021 Jan;302:110687

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PMID: 33288005

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