Type 1 diacylglycerol acyltransferases of Brassica napus preferentially incorporate oleic acid into triacylglycerol.
ABSTRACT: DGAT1 enzymes (acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1, EC 126.96.36.199) catalyse the formation of triacylglycerols (TAGs), the most abundant lipids in vegetable oils. Thorough understanding of the enzymology of oil accumulation is critical to the goal of modifying oilseeds for improved vegetable oil production. Four isoforms of BnDGAT1, the final and rate-limiting step in triacylglycerol synthesis, were characterized from Brassica napus, one of the world's most important oilseed crops. Transcriptional profiling of developing B. napus seeds indicated two genes, BnDGAT1-1 and BnDGAT1-2, with high expression and two, BnDGAT1-3 and BnDGAT1-4, with low expression. The activities of each BnDGAT1 isozyme were characterized following expression in a strain of yeast deficient in TAG synthesis. TAG from B. napus seeds contain only 10% palmitic acid (16:0) at the sn-3 position, so it was surprising that all four BnDGAT1 isozymes exhibited strong (4- to 7-fold) specificity for 16:0 over oleic acid (18:1) as the acyl-CoA substrate. However, the ratio of 18:1-CoA to 16:0-CoA in B. napus seeds during the peak period of TAG synthesis is 3:1. When substrate selectivity assays were conducted with 18:1-CoA and 16:0-CoA in a 3:1 ratio, the four isozymes incorporated 18:1 in amounts 2- to 5-fold higher than 16:0. This strong sensitivity of the BnDGAT1 isozymes to the relative concentrations of acyl-CoA substrates substantially explains the observed fatty acid composition of B. napus seed oil. Understanding these enzymes that are critical for triacylglycerol synthesis will facilitate genetic and biotechnological manipulations to improve this oilseed crop.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are the main composition of plant seed oil. Long-chain acyl-coenzyme A synthetases (LACSs) catalyze the synthesis of long-chain acyl-coenzyme A, which is one of the primary substrates for TAG synthesis. In Arabidopsis, the LACS gene family contains nine members, among which LACS1 and LACS9 have overlapping functions in TAG biosynthesis. However, functional characterization of LACS proteins in rapeseed have been rarely reported. RESULTS:An orthologue of the Arabidopsis LACS2 gene (BnLACS2) that is highly expressed in developing seeds was identified in rapeseed (Brassica napus). The BnLACS2-GFP fusion protein was mainly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, where TAG biosynthesis occurs. Interestingly, overexpression of the BnLACS2 gene resulted in significantly higher oil contents in transgenic rapeseed plants compared to wild type, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants had decreased oil contents. Furthermore, quantitative real-time PCR expression data revealed that the expression of several genes involved in glycolysis, as well as fatty acid (FA) and lipid biosynthesis, was also affected in transgenic plants. CONCLUSIONS:A long chain acyl-CoA synthetase, BnLACS2, located in the endoplasmic reticulum was identified in B. napus. Overexpression of BnLACS2 in yeast and rapeseed could increase oil content, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants exhibited decreased oil content. Furthermore, BnLACS2 transcription increased the expression of genes involved in glycolysis, and FA and lipid synthesis in developing seeds. These results suggested that BnLACS2 is an important factor for seed oil production in B. napus.
Project description:Since vegetable oils (usually triacylglycerol [TAG]) are extensively used as food and raw materials, an increase in storage oil content and production of valuable polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in transgenic plants is desirable. In this study, a gene encoding glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 9 (GPAT9), which catalyzes the synthesis of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) from a glycerol-3-phosphate and acyl-CoA, was isolated from Physcomitrella patens, which produces high levels of very-long-chain PUFAs in protonema and gametophores. P. patens GPAT9 shares approximately 50%, 60%, and 70% amino acid similarity with GPAT9 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Klebsormidium nitens, and Arabidopsis thaliana, respectively. PpGPAT9 transcripts were detected in both the protonema and gametophores. Fluorescent signals from the eYFP:PpGPAT9 construct were observed in the ER of Nicotiana benthamiana leaf epidermal cells. Ectopic expression of PpGPAT9 increased the seed oil content by approximately 10% in Arabidopsis. The levels of PUFAs (18:2, 18:3, and 20:2) and saturated FAs (16:0, 18:0, and 20:0) increased by 60% and 43%, respectively, in the storage oil of the transgenic seeds when compared with the wild type. The transgenic embryos with increased oil content contained larger embryonic cells than the wild type. Thus, PpGPAT9 may be a novel genetic resource to enhance storage oil yields from oilseed crops.
Project description:With dwindling available agricultural land, concurrent with increased demand for oil, there is much current interest in raising oil crop productivity. We have been addressing this issue by studying the regulation of oil accumulation in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L). As part of this research we have carried out a detailed lipidomic analysis of developing seeds. The molecular species distribution in individual lipid classes revealed quite distinct patterns and showed where metabolic connections were important. As the seeds developed, the molecular species distributions changed, especially in the period of early (20days after flowering, DAF) to mid phase (27DAF) of oil accumulation. The patterns of molecular species of diacylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and acyl-CoAs were used to predict the possible relative contributions of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) and phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase to triacylglycerol production. Our calculations suggest that DGAT may hold a more important role in influencing the molecular composition of TAG. Enzyme selectivity had an important influence on the final molecular species patterns. Our data contribute significantly to our understanding of lipid accumulation in the world's third most important oil crop.
Project description:As plant seed oils provide animals with essential fatty acids (FAs), genes that regulate plant lipid metabolism have been used in genetic manipulation to improve dietary seed oil composition and benefit human health. Herein, the Arabidopsis thaliana cytosolic acyl-CoA-binding proteins (AtACBPs), AtACBP4, AtACBP5, and AtACBP6 were shown to play a role in determining seed oil content by analysis of atacbp (atacbp4, atacbp5, atacbp6, atacbp4atacbp5, atacbp4atacbp6, atacbp5atacbp6, and atacbp4atacbp5atacbp6) seed oil content in comparison with the Col-0 wild type (WT). Triacylglycerol (TAG) composition in electrospray ionization-mass spectrometer (ESI-MS) analysis on atacbp6 seed oil showed a reduction (-50%) of C58-TAGs in comparison with the WT. Investigations on fatty acid composition of atacbp mutants indicated that 18:2-FA accumulated in atacbp6 and 18:3-FA in atacbp4, both at the expense of 20:1-FA. As TAG composition can be modified by acyl editing through phosphatidylcholines (PC) and lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC), total PC and LPC content in atacbp6 mature seeds was determined and ESI-MS analysis revealed that LPC had increased (+300%) at the expense of PC. Among all the 14 tested PC species, all (34:1-, 34:2-, 34:3-, 34:4-, 34:5-, 34:6-, 36:2-, 36:3-, 36:5-, 36:6-, 38:2-, 38:3-, and 38:4-PCs) but 36:4-PC were lower in atacbp6 than the WT. In contrast, all LPC species (16:0-, 18:1-, 18:2-, 18:3-, and 20:1-LPC) examined were elevated in atacbp6. LPC abundance also increased in atacbp4atacbp5, but not atacbp4 and atacbp5. Interestingly, when LPC composition in atacbp4atacbp5 was compared with atacbp4 and atacbp5, significant differences were observed between atacbp4atacbp5 and each single mutant, implying that AtACBP4 and AtACBP5 play combinatory roles by affecting LPC (but not PC) biosynthesis. Furthermore, PC-related genes such as those encoding acyl-CoA:lysophphosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (LPCAT1) and phospholipase A2 alpha (PLA2?) were upregulated in atacbp6 developing seeds. A model on the role of AtACBP6 in modulating TAG through regulating LPCAT1 and PLA2? expression is proposed. Taken together, cytosolic AtACBPs appear to affect unsaturated TAG content and are good candidates for engineering oil crops to enhance seed oil composition.
Project description:Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as ?-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3?9 cis ,12 cis ,15 cis ) have high nutritional and industrial values. In oilseed crops, PUFAs are synthesized on phosphatidylcholine (PC) and accumulated in triacylglycerol (TAG). Therefore, exploring the mechanisms that route PC-derived PUFA to TAG is essential for understanding and improving PUFA production. The seed oil of flax (Linum usitatissimum) is enriched in ALA, and this plant has many lipid biosynthetic enzymes that prefer ALA-containing substrates. In this study, using membrane yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays, we probed recombinant flax transferase enzymes, previously shown to contribute to PUFA enrichment of TAG, for physical interactions with each other under in vivo conditions. We found that diacylglycerol acyltransferases, which catalyze the final reaction in acyl-CoA-dependent TAG biosynthesis, interact with the acyl-editing enzymes phosphatidylcholine: diacylglycerol cholinephosphotransferase, and lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase. Physical interactions among the acyl-editing enzymes were also identified. These findings reveal the presence of an assembly of interacting transferases that may facilitate the channeling of PUFA from PC to TAG in flax and possibly also in other oleaginous plants that produce seeds enriched in PC-modified fatty acids.
Project description:Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is an important oil seed crop, providing more than 13% of the world's supply of edible oils. An in-depth knowledge of the gene network involved in biosynthesis and accumulation of seed oil is critical for the improvement of B. napus. Using available genomic and transcriptomic resources, we identified 1,750 acyl-lipid metabolism (ALM) genes that are distributed over 19 chromosomes in the B. napus genome. B. rapa and B. oleracea, two diploid progenitors of B. napus, contributed almost equally to the ALM genes. Genome collinearity analysis demonstrated that the majority of the ALM genes have arisen due to genome duplication or segmental duplication events. In addition, we profiled the expression patterns of the ALM genes in four different developmental stages. Furthermore, we developed two B. napus near isogenic lines (NILs). The high oil NIL, YC13-559, accumulates significantly higher (?10%) seed oil compared to the other, YC13-554. Comparative gene expression analysis revealed upregulation of lipid biosynthesis-related regulatory genes in YC13-559, including SHOOTMERISTEMLESS, LEAFY COTYLEDON 1 (LEC1), LEC2, FUSCA3, ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 3 (ABI3), ABI4, ABI5, and WRINKLED1, as well as structural genes, such as ACETYL-CoA CARBOXYLASE, ACYL-CoA DIACYLGLYCEROL ACYLTRANSFERASE, and LONG-CHAIN ACYL-CoA SYNTHETASES. We observed that several genes related to the phytohormones, gibberellins, jasmonate, and indole acetic acid, were differentially expressed in the NILs. Our findings provide a broad account of the numbers, distribution, and expression profiles of acyl-lipid metabolism genes, as well as gene networks that potentially control oil accumulation in B. napus seeds. The upregulation of key regulatory and structural genes related to lipid biosynthesis likely plays a major role for the increased seed oil in YC13-559.
Project description:As an allotetraploid oilcrop, Brassica napus contains four duplicated Acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) genes, which catalyze one of the rate-limiting steps in triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis in plants. While all four BnDGAT1s have been expressed functionally in yeast, their expression patterns in different germplasms and tissues and also consequent contribution to seed oil accumulation in planta remain to be elucidated. In this study, the coding regions of the four BnDGAT1s were expressed in an Arabidopsis dgat1 mutant. All four BnDGAT1s showed similar effects on oil content and fatty acid composition, a result which is different from that observed in previous studies of their expression in yeast. Expression patterns of BnDGAT1s were analyzed in developing seeds of 34 B. napus inbred lines and in different tissues of 14 lines. Different expression patterns were observed for the four BnDGAT1s, which suggests that they express independently or randomly in different germplasm sources. Higher expression of BnDGAT1s was correlated with higher seed oil content lines. Tissue-specific analyses showed that the BnDGAT1s were expressed in a uniform pattern in different tissues. Our results suggest that it is important to maintain expression of the four BnDGAT1s for maximum return on oil content.
Project description:The enzyme sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 4 (GPAT4) is involved in the biosynthesis of plant lipid poly-esters. The present study further characterizes the enzymatic activities of three endoplasmic reticulum-bound GPAT4 isoforms of Brassica napus and examines their roles in the development of reproductive organs and the embryo. All three BnGPAT4 isoforms exhibited sn-2 acyltransferase and phosphatase activities with dicarboxylic acid-CoA as acyl donor. When non-substituted acyl-CoA was used as acyl donor, the rate of acylation was considerably lower and phosphatase activity was not manifested. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated down-regulation of all GPAT4 homologues in B. napus under the control of the napin promoter caused abnormal development of several reproductive organs and reduced seed set. Microscopic examination and reciprocal crosses revealed that both pollen grains and developing embryo sacs of the B. napus gpat4 lines were affected. The gpat4 mature embryos showed decreased cutin content and altered monomer composition. The defective embryo development further affected the oil body morphology, oil content, and fatty acid composition in gpat4 seeds. These results suggest that GPAT4 has a critical role in the development of reproductive organs and the seed of B. napus.
Project description:Soybean seeds are an important source of vegetable oil and biomaterials. The content of individual triacylglycerol species (TAG) in soybean seeds is difficult to quantify in an accurate and rapid way. The present study establishes an approach to quantify TAG species in soybean seeds utilizing an electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry with multiple neutral loss scans. Ten neutral loss scans were performed to detect the fatty acyl chains of TAG, including palmitic (P, 16:0), linolenic (Ln, 18:3), linoleic (L, 18:2), oleic (O, 18:1), stearic (S, 18:0), eicosadienoic (20:2), gadoleic (20:1), arachidic (20:0), erucic (22:1), and behenic (22:0). The abundance of ten fatty acyl chains at 46 TAG masses (mass-to-charge ratio, m/z) were determined after isotopic deconvolution and correction by adjustment factors at each TAG mass. The direct sample infusion and multiple internal standards correction allowed a rapid and accurate quantification of TAG species. Ninety-three TAG species were resolved and their levels were determined. The most abundant TAG species were LLL, OLL, LLLn, PLL, OLLn, OOL, POL, and SLL. Many new species were detected and quantified. This shotgun lipidomics approach should facilitate the study of TAG metabolism and genetic breeding of soybean seeds for desirable TAG content and composition.
Project description:Oil crop seeds are important sources of fatty acids (FAs) for human and animal nutrition. Despite their importance, there is a lack of an essential bioinformatics resource on gene transcription of oil crops from a comparative perspective. In this study, we developed ocsESTdb, the first database of expressed sequence tag (EST) information on seeds of four large-scale oil crops with an emphasis on global metabolic networks and oil accumulation metabolism that target the involved unigenes.A total of 248,522 ESTs and 106,835 unigenes were collected from the cDNA libraries of rapeseed (Brassica napus), soybean (Glycine max), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea). These unigenes were annotated by a sequence similarity search against databases including TAIR, NR protein database, Gene Ontology, COG, Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Five genome-scale metabolic networks that contain different numbers of metabolites and gene-enzyme reaction-association entries were analysed and constructed using Cytoscape and yEd programs. Details of unigene entries, deduced amino acid sequences and putative annotation are available from our database to browse, search and download. Intuitive and graphical representations of EST/unigene sequences, functional annotations, metabolic pathways and metabolic networks are also available. ocsESTdb will be updated regularly and can be freely accessed at http://ocri-genomics.org/ocsESTdb/ .ocsESTdb may serve as a valuable and unique resource for comparative analysis of acyl lipid synthesis and metabolism in oilseed plants. It also may provide vital insights into improving oil content in seeds of oil crop species by transcriptional reconstruction of the metabolic network.