Chlorophyllase has been found in higher plants, diatoms, and in the green algae Chlorella . This enzyme forms part of the chlorophyll degradation pathway and is thought to take part in de-greening processes such as fruit ripening, leaf senescence and flowering, as well as in the turnover and homeostasis of chlorophyll . This enzyme acts preferentially on chlorophyll a but will also accept chlorophyll b and pheophytins as substrates . Ethylene and methyl jasmonate, which are known to accelerate senescence in many species, can enhance the activity of the hormone-inducible form of this enzyme .
also catalyzes chlorophyllide transfer, e.g. converts chlorophyll to methylchlorophyllide, catalytic mechanism, catalytic triad is composed of Ser162, Asp191, and His262, and reveals the enzyme as a serine hydrolase