An oleate 12-hydroxylase from Ricinus communis L. is a fatty acyl desaturase homolog.
ABSTRACT: Recent spectroscopic evidence implicating a binuclear iron site at the reaction center of fatty acyl desaturases suggested to us that certain fatty acyl hydroxylases may share significant amino acid sequence similarity with desaturases. To test this theory, we prepared a cDNA library from developing endosperm of the castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis L.) and obtained partial nucleotide sequences for 468 anonymous clones that were not expressed at high levels in leaves, a tissue deficient in 12-hydroxyoleic acid. This resulted in the identification of several cDNA clones encoding a polypeptide of 387 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 44,407 and with approximately 67% sequence homology to microsomal oleate desaturase from Arabidopsis. Expression of a full-length clone under control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter in transgenic tobacco resulted in the accumulation of low levels of 12-hydroxyoleic acid in seeds, indicating that the clone encodes the castor oleate hydroxylase. These results suggest that fatty acyl desaturases and hydroxylases share similar reaction mechanisms and provide an example of enzyme evolution.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Castor seeds are a major source for ricinoleate, an important industrial raw material. Genomics studies of castor plant will provide critical information for understanding seed metabolism, for effectively engineering ricinoleate production in transgenic oilseeds, or for genetically improving castor plants by eliminating toxic and allergic proteins in seeds. RESULTS: Full-length cDNAs are useful resources in annotating genes and in providing functional analysis of genes and their products. We constructed a full-length cDNA library from developing castor endosperm, and obtained 4,720 ESTs from 5'-ends of the cDNA clones representing 1,908 unique sequences. The most abundant transcripts are genes encoding storage proteins, ricin, agglutinin and oleosins. Several other sequences are also very numerous, including two acidic triacylglycerol lipases, and the oleate hydroxylase (FAH12) gene that is responsible for ricinoleate biosynthesis. The role(s) of the lipases in developing castor seeds are not clear, and co-expressing of a lipase and the FAH12 did not result in significant changes in hydroxy fatty acid accumulation in transgenic Arabidopsis seeds. Only one oleate desaturase (FAD2) gene was identified in our cDNA sequences. Sequence and functional analyses of the castor FAD2 were carried out since it had not been characterized previously. Overexpression of castor FAD2 in a FAH12-expressing Arabidopsis line resulted in decreased accumulation of hydroxy fatty acids in transgenic seeds. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that transcriptional regulation of FAD2 and FAH12 genes maybe one of the mechanisms that contribute to a high level of ricinoleate accumulation in castor endosperm. The full-length cDNA library will be used to search for additional genes that affect ricinoleate accumulation in seed oils. Our EST sequences will also be useful to annotate the castor genome, which whole sequence is being generated by shotgun sequencing at the Institute for Genome Research (TIGR).
Project description:Stearoyl-acyl-carrier-protein (ACP) desaturase (EC 126.96.36.199) was purified to homogeneity from avocado mesocarp, and monospecific polyclonal antibodies directed against the protein were used to isolate full-length cDNA clones from Ricinus communis (castor) seed and Cucumis sativus (cucumber). The nucleotide sequence of the castor clone pRCD1 revealed an open reading frame of 1.2 kilobases encoding a 396-amino acid protein of 45 kDa. The cucumber clone pCSD1 encoded a homologous 396-amino acid protein with 88% amino acid identity to the castor clone. Expression of pRCD1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae resulted in the accumulation of a functional stearoyl-ACP desaturase, demonstrating that the introduction of this single gene product was sufficient to confer soluble desaturase activity to yeast. There was no detectable identity between the deduced amino acid sequences of the castor delta 9-stearoyl-ACP desaturase and either the delta 9-stearoyl-CoA desaturase from rat or yeast or the delta 12 desaturase from Synechocystis, suggesting that these enzymes may have evolved independently. However, there was a 48-residue region of 29% amino acid sequence identity between residues 53 and 101 of the castor desaturase and the proximal border of the dehydratase region of the fatty acid synthase from yeast. Stearoyl-ACP mRNA was present at substantially higher levels in developing seeds than in leaf and root tissue, suggesting that expression of the delta 9 desaturase is developmentally regulated.
Project description:Desaturation of coenzyme-A esters of saturated fatty acids is a common feature of sex pheromone biosynthetic pathways in the Lepidoptera. The enzymes that catalyze this step share several biochemical properties with the ubiquitous acyl-CoA Delta9-desaturases of animals and fungi, suggesting a common ancestral origin. Unlike metabolic acyl-CoA Delta9-desaturases, pheromone desaturases have evolved unusual regio- and stereoselective activities that contribute to the remarkable diversity of chemical structures used as pheromones in this large taxonomic group. In this report, we describe the isolation of a cDNA encoding a pheromone gland desaturase from the cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni, a species in which all unsaturated pheromone products are produced via a Delta11Z-desaturation mechanism. The largest ORF of the approximately 1,250-bp cDNA encodes a 349-aa apoprotein (PDesat-Tn Delta11Z) with a predicted molecular mass of 40,240 Da. Its hydrophobicity profile is similar overall to those of rat and yeast Delta9-desaturases, suggesting conserved transmembrane topology. A 182-aa core domain delimited by conserved histidine-rich motifs implicated in iron-binding and catalysis has 72 and 58% similarity (including conservative substitutions) to acyl-CoA Delta9Z-desaturases of rat and yeast, respectively. Northern blot analysis revealed an approximately 1,250-nt PDesat-Tn Delta11Z mRNA that is consistent with the spatial and temporal distribution of Delta11-desaturase enzyme activity. Genetic transformation of a desaturase-deficient strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with an expression plasmid encoding PDesat-Tn Delta11Z resulted in complementation of the strain's fatty acid auxotrophy and the production of Delta11Z-unsaturated fatty acids.
Project description:One independent and two overlapping rape cDNA clones have been isolated from a rape embryo library. We have shown that they encode a 2.3 kb and a 2.5 kb stretch of the full-length acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) cDNA, corresponding to the biotin-binding and transcarboxylase domains respectively. Using the cDNA in Northern-blot analysis we have shown that the mRNA for ACCase has a higher level of expression in rape seed than in rape leaf and has a full length of 7.5 kb. The level of expression during rape embryogenesis was compared with both oil deposition and expression of two fatty acid synthetase components enoyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase and 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase. Levels of ACCase mRNA were shown to peak at 29 days after anthesis during embryonic development, similarly to enoyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase and 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase mRNA. In addition, a full-length genomic clone (19 kb) of Arabidopsis ACCase has been isolated and partially sequenced. Analysis of the clone has allowed the first plant ACCase activity domains (biotin carboxylase-biotin binding-transcarboxylase) to be ordered and assigned. Southern-blot analysis using the Arabidopsis clone indicates that ACCase is a single-copy gene in Arabidopsis but is encoded by a small gene family in rape.
Project description:Microsomal membrane preparations from the developing endosperm of castor bean (Ricinus communis) catalysed the transfer of oleate from [14C]oleoyl-CoA to phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho). In the presence of NADH, radioactive ricinoleate (12-hydroxyoctadec-9-enoate) was synthesized from [14C]oleate, and this was largely recovered in PtdCho and as free fatty acid. The addition of unlabelled ricinoleoyl-CoA to these incubation mixtures did not increase the low [14C]ricinoleate concentration found in the acyl-CoA fraction nor decrease the [14C]ricinoleate concentration in PtdCho and free fatty acid, and thus no evidence was obtained for a hydroxylation with oleoyl-CoA as a substrate. The addition of NADH, necessary for the formation of ricinoleate, caused a decrease of the total radioactivity in PtdCho with a corresponding increase in the amount of label in free ricinoleic acid. This increase was due to the action of a phospholipase A, which released ricinoleic acid but not oleic acid from PtdCho. Such a phospholipase activity, attacking ricinoleoyl-PtdCho but not oleoyl-PtdCho, was also demonstrated in microsomal preparations from developing cotyledons of safflower and oil-seed rape. An analysis of the acyl groups at different positions in microsomal PtdCho of castor bean showed that ricinoleate was almost entirely associated with position sn-2. Likewise the [14C]ricinoleate in [14C]PtdCho formed after incubations with microsomal preparations with NADH and [14C]oleoyl-CoA resided in position sn-2 with none in position sn-1. In contrast, the [14C]linoleate formed by desaturation of [14C]oleoyl-PtdCho was present at both positions. In the presence of ATP, CoA and Mg2+, the ricinoleate acid released from PtdCho was activated to ricinoleoyl-CoA. The ricinoleoyl-CoA was an efficient acyl donor in the acylation of glycerol 3-phosphate (Gro3P) to yield phosphatidic acid and triacylglycerols. In microsomal preparations incubated with an equimolar mixture of [14C]oleoyl-CoA and [14C]ricinoleoyl-CoA in the presence of Gro3P, only a minor amount of [14C]ricinoleate entered PtdCho, and this was believed to be via the exchange of phosphocholine groups between a diacylglycerol pool and the PtdCho. On the basis of our results, a scheme of ricinoleate formation and its incorporation into triacylglycerols in castor-bean endosperm is proposed.
Project description:It is estimated that plants contain thousands of fatty acid structures, many of which arise by the action of membrane-bound desaturases and desaturase-like enzymes. The details of "unusual" e.g., hydroxyl or conjugated, fatty acid formation remain elusive, because these enzymes await structural characterization. However, soluble plant acyl-ACP (acyl carrier protein) desaturases have been studied in far greater detail but typically only catalyze desaturation (dehydrogenation) reactions. We describe a mutant of the castor acyl-ACP desaturase (T117R/G188L/D280K) that converts stearoyl-ACP into the allylic alcohol trans-isomer (E)-10-18:1-9-OH via a cis isomer (Z)-9-18:1 intermediate. The use of regiospecifically deuterated substrates shows that the conversion of (Z)-9-18:1 substrate to (E)-10-18:1-9-OH product proceeds via hydrogen abstraction at C-11 and highly regioselective hydroxylation (>97%) at C-9. (18)O-labeling studies show that the hydroxyl oxygen in the reaction product is exclusively derived from molecular oxygen. The mutant enzyme converts (E)-9-18:1-ACP into two major products, (Z)-10-18:1-9-OH and the conjugated linolenic acid isomer, (E)-9-(Z)-11-18:2. The observed product profiles can be rationalized by differences in substrate binding as dictated by the curvature of substrate channel at the active site. That three amino acid substitutions, remote from the diiron active site, expand the range of reaction outcomes to mimic some of those associated with the membrane-bound desaturase family underscores the latent potential of O(2)-dependent nonheme diiron enzymes to mediate a diversity of functionalization chemistry. In summary, this study contributes detailed mechanistic insights into factors that govern the highly selective production of unusual fatty acids.
Project description:A central goal of green chemistry is to produce industrially useful fatty acids in oilseed crops. Although genes encoding suitable fatty acid-modifying enzymes are available from many wild species, progress has been limited because the expression of these genes in transgenic plants produces low yields of the desired products. For example, Ricinus communis fatty acid hydroxylase 12 (FAH12) produces a maximum of only 17% hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs) when expressed in Arabidopsis. cDNA clones encoding R. communis enzymes for additional steps in the seed oil biosynthetic pathway were identified. Expression of these cDNAs in FAH12 transgenic plants revealed that the R. communis type-2 acyl-coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (RcDGAT2) could increase HFAs from 17% to nearly 30%. Detailed comparisons of seed neutral lipids from the single- and double-transgenic lines indicated that RcDGAT2 substantially modified the triacylglycerol (TAG) pool, with significant increases in most of the major TAG species observed in native castor bean oil. These data suggest that RcDGAT2 prefers acyl-coenzyme A and diacylglycerol substrates containing HFAs, and biochemical analyses of RcDGAT2 expressed in yeast cells confirmed a strong preference for HFA-containing diacylglycerol substrates. Our results demonstrate that pathway engineering approaches can be used successfully to increase the yields of industrial feedstocks in plants, and that members of the DGAT2 gene family probably play a key role in this process.
Project description:In animals, fatty acid desaturases catalyze key reactions in the synthesis of arachidonic acid and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. A search of the Caenorhabditis elegans DNA databases, using the sequences of Arabidopsis genes, identified several putative desaturases. Here we describe the characterization of the first of these genes, fat-1. The predicted protein encoded by a fat-1 cDNA showed 32-35% identity with both FAD2 and FAD3 of Arabidopsis. When expressed in transgenic plants, fat-1 resulted in a 90% increase in the proportion of alpha-linolenic acid in root lipids. Wild-type Arabidopsis incorporated omega-6 fatty acids (delta8,11,14-20:3 and delta5,8,11,14-20:4) into membrane lipids but did not desaturate them. By contrast, fat-1 transgenic plants efficiently desaturated both of these fatty acids to the corresponding omega-3 products. These findings indicate that the C. elegans fat-1 gene encodes the first animal representative of a class of glycerolipid desaturases that have previously been characterized in plants and cyanobacteria. The FAT-1 protein is an omega-3 fatty acyl desaturase that recognizes a range of 18- and 20-carbon omega-6 substrates.
Project description:Currently existing data show that the capability for long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) biosynthesis in teleost fish is more diverse than in other vertebrates. Such diversity has been primarily linked to the subfunctionalization that teleostei fatty acyl desaturase (Fads)2 desaturases have undergone during evolution. We previously showed that Chirostoma estor, one of the few representatives of freshwater atherinopsids, had the ability for LC-PUFA biosynthesis from C18 PUFA precursors, in agreement with this species having unusually high contents of DHA. The particular ancestry and pattern of LC-PUFA biosynthesis activity of C. estor make this species an excellent model for study to gain further insight into LC-PUFA biosynthetic abilities among teleosts. The present study aimed to characterize cDNA sequences encoding fatty acyl elongases and desaturases, key genes involved in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis. Results show that C. estor expresses an elongase of very long-chain FA (Elovl)5 elongase and two Fads2 desaturases displaying ?4 and ?6/?5 specificities, thus allowing us to conclude that these three genes cover all the enzymatic abilities required for LC-PUFA biosynthesis from C18 PUFA. In addition, the specificities of the C. estor Fads2 enabled us to propose potential evolutionary patterns and mechanisms for subfunctionalization of Fads2 among fish lineages.
Project description:Microsomal membrane preparations from the maturing cotyledons of common borage (Borago officinalis) exhibit delta 12- and delta 6-desaturase activities, which resulted in the synthesis of linoleate and gamma-linolenate respectively. The desaturase enzymes utilized the complex lipid substrate phosphatidylcholine. The activity of these enzymes was sufficiently high to allow the monitoring of the mass changes in the endogenous oleate, linoleate and gamma-linolenate in the microsomal phosphatidylcholine in the presence of NADH (i.e. under desaturating conditions). The results illustrate that the delta 12-desaturase uses the oleate substrate at both the sn-1 and -2 positions of sn-phosphatidylcholine, whereas the delta 6-desaturase is almost totally restricted to the linoleate at position 2 of the complex lipid. Estimate of the acyl-substrate pool size at position 2 of sn-phosphatidylcholine for both desaturases indicated that some 50% of the oleate and linoleate was available to the enzymes. The microsomes (microsomal fractions) had a somewhat impaired Kennedy [(1961) Fed. Proc. Fed. Am. Soc. Exp. Biol. 20, 934-940] pathway for the formation of triacylglycerols when compared with other oil-rich plant species that have been studied [Stymne & Stobart (1987) The Biochemistry of Plants: a Comprehensive Treatise (Stumpf, P.K., ed.), vol. 10, chapter 8, pp. 175-214, Academic Press, New York]. In the presence of sn-glycerol 3-phosphate and acyl-CoA, large quantities of phosphatidic acid accumulated in the membranes. Acyl-selectivity studies on the glycerol-acylating enzymes showed that gamma-linolenate could be acylated to both the sn-1 and sn-2 positions of sn-glycerol 3-phosphate. However, stereochemical analysis of the acyl components of the sn-triacylglycerol obtained from mature seeds indicated that, whereas no gamma-linolenate was present at the sn-1 position, it accounted for over 50% of the fatty acids at position sn-3. The results indicate that the diacylglycerol acyltransferase (EC 188.8.131.52) may show a strong selectivity for gamma-linolenoyl-CoA and hence result in the efficient removal of this fatty acid from the acyl-CoA pool in vivo, leaving negligible substrate for utilization by the sn-glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (EC 184.108.40.206).