Phytochelatins: The principal heavy-metal complexing peptides of higher plants

Erwin Grill, Ernst L. Winnacker, Meinhart H. Zenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1022 Scopus citations


A set of novel heavy-metal complexing peptides was isolated from plant cell suspension cultures; the structure of the peptides was established as (γ-glutamic acid-cysteine)n-glycine (n = 3 to 7). These peptides appear upon induction of plant cells with heavy metals and represent the principal metal-binding activities in the cells. The name phytochelatin is proposed for this new class of natural products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-676
Number of pages3
Issue number4726
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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