Biosynthesis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by polyamine oxidation (WP4232)

Arabidopsis thaliana

In plants, polyamines are oxidatively deaminated by copper- and flavin-containing odixases (CuAO and PAO) leading to the generation of H2O2 and 4-aminobutanal (ABAL) which can be converted to 4-aminobutyric acid (GABA). A well known neurotransmitter in animals, GABA plays a role in stress response in plants.


Alex Pico , Egon Willighagen , Denise Slenter , and Eric Weitz


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Arabidopsis thaliana



Pathway Ontology

gamma-aminobutyric acid metabolic pathway putrescine metabolic pathway polyamine metabolic pathway classic metabolic pathway amino acid neurotransmitter metabolic pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
Putrescine Metabolite chebi:17148
Spermine Metabolite chebi:15746
spermidine Metabolite chebi:57834
ABAL Metabolite chebi:17769
GABA Metabolite chebi:16865
GABA Metabolite chebi:16865
Putrescine Metabolite chebi:17148
ABAL Metabolite chebi:17769
GABA Metabolite chebi:16865
ALDH10A9 GeneProduct ncbigene:823972
PAO2 GeneProduct ncbigene:818904
PAO3 GeneProduct ncbigene:825074
PAO4 GeneProduct ncbigene:842894
CuAO3 GeneProduct ncbigene:840058
CuAO2 GeneProduct ncbigene:818849
ALDH10A8 GeneProduct ncbigene:843831
CuAO1 GeneProduct ncbigene:842580


  1. Copper-containing amine oxidases contribute to terminal polyamine oxidation in peroxisomes and apoplast of Arabidopsis thaliana. Planas-Portell J, Gallart M, Tiburcio AF, Altabella T. BMC Plant Biol. 2013 Aug 5;13:109. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Polyamines under Abiotic Stress: Metabolic Crossroads and Hormonal Crosstalks in Plants. Bitrián M, Zarza X, Altabella T, Tiburcio AF, Alcázar R. Metabolites. 2012 Aug 20;2(3):516–28. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase 10 family members confer salt tolerance through putrescine-derived 4-aminobutyrate (GABA) production. Zarei A, Trobacher CP, Shelp BJ. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 11;6:35115. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia