Capsaicinoids (CAP) are nitrogenous metabolites formed from valine (Val) and phenylalanine (Phe) in the placentas of hot Capsicum genotypes. Placentas of Habanero peppers can incorporate inorganic nitrogen into amino acids and have the ability to secure the availability of the required amino acids for CAP biosynthesis. In order to determine the participation of the placental tissue as a supplier of these amino acids, the effects of blocking the synthesis of Val and Phe by using specific enzyme inhibitors were analyzed. Isolated placentas maintained in vitro were used to rule out external sources′ participation. Blocking Phe synthesis, through the inhibition of arogenate dehydratase, significantly decreased CAP accumulation suggesting that at least part of Phe required in this process has to be produced in situ. Chlorsulfuron inhibition of acetolactate synthase, involved in Val synthesis, decreased not only Val accumulation but also that of CAP, pointing out that the requirement for this amino acid can also be fulfilled by this tissue. The presented data demonstrates that CAP accumulation in in vitro maintained placentas can be accomplished through the in situ availability of Val and Phe and suggests that the synthesis of the fatty acid chain moiety may be a limiting factor in the biosynthesis of these alkaloids.
Baas-Espinola, F.M.; Castro-Concha, L.A.; Vázquez-Flota, F.A.; Miranda-Ham, M.L. Capsaicin Synthesis Requires in Situ Phenylalanine and Valine Formation in in Vitro Maintained Placentas from Capsicum chinense. Molecules 2016, 21, 799.