2018 Volume 41 Issue 10 Pages 1502-1507
An organic chemistry approach to the mechanistic elucidation of iron acquisition in graminaceous plants is introduced here. To elucidate this detailed mechanism using phytosiderophores, the efficient synthesis of 2′-deoxymugineic acid (DMA), a phytosiderophore of rice, was established. The synthetic DMA was confirmed to have similar iron transport activity to that of natural mugineic acid (MA). It was also revealed that the addition of synthetic DMA, along with iron, to a rice hydroponic solution enabled the rice to grow well even under an alkaline condition, and DMA clearly showed its high potential as a fertilizer to improve food production. On the other hand, the 2′-hydroxy group of MA was confirmed to serve as a point of introduction for labeling, allowing the synthesis of various mugineic acid derivatives as molecular probes. The incorporation of fluorescent mugineic acid into cells allowed them to be clearly observed by fluorescence confocal analysis, and this provided the first direct experimental evidence of transporter-mediated internalization of mugineic acid into cells.