Glucosinolate structural diversity, identification, chemical synthesis and metabolism in plants

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

The glucosinolates (GSLs) is a well-defined group of plant metabolites characterized by having an S-β-d-glucopyrano unit anomerically connected to an O-sulfated (Z)-thiohydroximate function. After enzymatic hydrolysis, the sulfated aglucone can undergo rearrangement to an isothiocyanate, or form a nitrile or other products. The number of GSLs known from plants, satisfactorily characterized by modern spectroscopic methods (NMR and MS) by mid-2018, is 88. In addition, a group of partially characterized structures with highly variable evidence counts for approximately a further 49. This means that the total number of characterized GSLs from plants is somewhere between 88 and 137. The diversity of GSLs in plants is critically reviewed here, resulting in significant discrepancies with previous reviews. In general, the well-characterized GSLs show resemblance to C-skeletons of the amino acids Ala, Val, Leu, Trp, Ile, Phe/Tyr and Met, or to homologs of Ile, Phe/Tyr or Met. Insufficiently characterized, still hypothetic GSLs include straight-chain alkyl GSLs and chain-elongated GSLs derived from Leu. Additional reports (since 2011) of insufficiently characterized GSLs are reviewed. Usually the crucial missing information is correctly interpreted NMR, which is the most effective tool for GSL identification. Hence, modern use of NMR for GSL identification is also reviewed and exemplified. Apart from isolation, GSLs may be obtained by organic synthesis, allowing isotopically labeled GSLs and any kind of side chain. Enzymatic turnover of GSLs in plants depends on a considerable number of enzymes and other protein factors and furthermore depends on GSL structure. Identification of GSLs must be presented transparently and live up to standard requirements in natural product chemistry. Unfortunately, many recent reports fail in these respects, including reports based on chromatography hyphenated to MS. In particular, the possibility of isomers and isobaric structures is frequently ignored. Recent reports are re-evaluated and interpreted as evidence of the existence of "isoGSLs", i.e. non-GSL isomers of GSLs in plants. For GSL analysis, also with MS-detection, we stress the importance of using authentic standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112100
Number of pages57
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 236473496