Dihydrokaempferol 4-reductase

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dihydrokaempferol 4-reductase
EC number
CAS number 98668-58-7
IntEnz IntEnz view
ExPASy NiceZyme view
MetaCyc metabolic pathway
PRIAM profile
PDB structures RCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum
Gene Ontology AmiGO / QuickGO

In enzymology, a dihydrokaempferol 4-reductase (EC is an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction

cis-3,4-leucopelargonidin + NADP+ (+)-dihydrokaempferol + NADPH + H+

Thus, the two substrates of this enzyme are cis-3,4-leucopelargonidin and NADP+, whereas its 3 products are (+)-dihydrokaempferol, NADPH, and H+.

This enzyme belongs to the family of oxidoreductases, specifically those acting on the CH-OH group of donor with NAD+ or NADP+ as acceptor. The systematic name of this enzyme class is cis-3,4-leucopelargonidin:NADP+ 4-oxidoreductase. Other names in common use include dihydroflavanol 4-reductase (DFR), dihydromyricetin reductase, NADPH-dihydromyricetin reductase, and dihydroquercetin reductase. This enzyme participates in flavonoid biosynthesis.


Anthocyanidins, common plant pigments, are further reduced by the enzyme dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) to the corresponding colorless leucoanthocyanidins.[1]

DFR uses dihydromyricetin (ampelopsin) NADPH and 2 H+ to produce leucodelphinidin and NADP.[2][3]

A cDNA for DFR has been cloned from the orchid Bromheadia finlaysoniana.[4]

Researchers in Japan have genetically manipulated roses by using RNA interference to knock out endogenous DFR, adding a gene DFR from an iris, and adding a gene for the blue pigment, delphinidin, in an effort to create a blue rose, which is being sold worldwide.[5][6]

Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase is an enzyme part of the lignin biosynthesis pathway; in Arabidopsis thaliana, the enzyme uses sinapaldehyde or coniferyl aldehyde or coumaraldehyde and NADPH to produce sinapyl alcohol or coniferyl alcohol or coumaryl alcohol respectively and NADP+.[7]

Structural studies[edit]

As of late 2007, two structures have been solved for this class of enzymes, with PDB accession codes 2C29 and 2IOD.


  1. ^ Nakajima J, Tanaka Y, Yamazaki M, Saito K (July 2001). "Reaction mechanism from leucoanthocyanidin to anthocyanidin 3-glucoside, a key reaction for coloring in anthocyanin biosynthesis". J. Biol. Chem. 276 (28): 25797–803. doi:10.1074/jbc.M100744200. PMID 11316805. 
  2. ^ "Leucodelphinidin biosynthesis". MetaCyc. SRI International. 
  3. ^ Les cibles d’amélioration pour la qualité des raisins: L’exemple des flavonoïdes, Nancy Terrier (French)[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ The isolation, molecular characterization and expression of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase cDNA in the orchid, Bromheadia finlaysoniana. Chye-Fong Liew, Chiang-Shiong Loh, Chong-Jin Goh and Saw-Hoon Lim, Plant Science, Volume 135, Issue 2, 10 July 1998, Pages 161–169, doi:10.1016/S0168-9452(98)00071-5
  5. ^ Katsumoto Y et al (2007) Engineering of the Rose Flavonoid Biosynthetic Pathway Successfully Generated Blue-Hued Flowers Accumulating Delphinidin Plant Cell Physiol. 48(11): 1589–1600 [1]
  6. ^ Phys.Org website. April 4, 2005 Plant gene replacement results in the world's only blue rose
  7. ^ "Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase". Arabidopsis Reactome. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Heller W, Forkmann G, Britsch L, Grisebach H (1985). "Enzymatic reduction of (+)-dihydroflavonols to flavan-3,4-cis- diols with flower extracts from Matthiola incana and its role in anthocyanin biosynthesis". Planta. 165 (2): 284–287. doi:10.1007/BF00395052. PMID 24241054. 
  • Stafford HA; Lester HH (1985). "Flavan-3-ol biosynthesis the conversion of (+)- dihydromyricetin to its flavan-3,4-diol (leucodelphinidin) and to (+)-gallocatechin by reductases extracted from tissue-cultures of Ginkgo biloba and Pseudotsuga-menziesii". Plant Physiol. 78 (4): 791–794. doi:10.1104/pp.78.4.791.