EC - Violaxanthin de-epoxidase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
violaxanthin de-epoxidase
Other name:
Systematic name:
violaxanthin:ascorbate oxidoreductase



Along with EC, zeaxanthin epoxidase, this enzyme forms part of the xanthophyll (or violaxanthin) cycle for controlling the concentration of zeaxanthin in chloroplasts. It is activated by a low pH of the thylakoid lumen (produced by high light intensity). Zeaxanthin induces the dissipation of excitation energy in the chlorophyll of the light-harvesting protein complex of photosystem II. In higher plants the enzyme reacts with all-trans-diepoxides, such as violaxanthin, and all-trans-monoepoxides, but in the alga Mantoniella squamata, only the diepoxides are good substrates.

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , DIAGRAM , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB


  1. Yamamoto, H.Y. and Higashi, R.M.
    Violaxanthin de-epoxidase. Lipid composition and substrate specificity.
    Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 190: 514-522 (1979). [PMID: 102251]
  2. Rockholm, D.C. and Yamamoto, H.Y.
    Violaxanthin de-epoxidase.
    Plant Physiol. 110: 697-703 (1996). [PMID: 8742341]
  3. Bugos, R.C., Hieber, A.D. and Yamamoto, H.Y.
    Xanthophyll cycle enzymes are members of the lipocalin family, the first identified from plants.
    J. Biol. Chem. 273: 15321-15324 (1998). [PMID: 9624110]
  4. Kuwabara, T., Hasegawa, M., Kawano, M. and Takaichi, S.
    Characterization of violaxanthin de-epoxidase purified in the presence of Tween 20: effects of dithiothreitol and pepstatin A.
    Plant Cell Physiol. 40: 1119-1126 (2000). [PMID: 10635115]
  5. Latowski, D., Kruk, J., Burda, K., Skrzynecka-Jaskierm, M., Kostecka-Gugala, A. and Strzalka, K.
    Kinetics of violaxanthin de-epoxidation by violaxanthin de-epoxidase, a xanthophyll cycle enzyme, is regulated by membrane fluidity in model lipid bilayers.
    Eur. J. Biochem. 269: 4656-4665 (2002). [PMID: 12230579]
  6. Goss, R.
    Substrate specificity of the violaxanthin de-epoxidase of the primitive green alga Mantoniella squamata (Prasinophyceae).
    Planta 217: 801-812 (2003). [PMID: 12748855]
  7. Latowski, D., Akerlund, H.E. and Strzalka, K.
    Violaxanthin de-epoxidase, the xanthophyll cycle enzyme, requires lipid inverted hexagonal structures for its activity.
    Biochemistry 43: 4417-4420 (2004). [PMID: 15078086]

[EC created 2005 as EC, transfered 2015 to EC]