Isoprenoid biosynthesis in dandelion latex is enhanced by the overexpression of three key enzymes involved in the mevalonate pathway.
ABSTRACT: Latex from the dandelion species Taraxacum brevicorniculatum contains many high-value isoprenoid end products, e.g. triterpenes and polyisoprenes such as natural rubber. The isopentenyl pyrophosphate units required as precursors for these isoprenoids are provided by the mevalonate (MVA) pathway. The key enzyme in this pathway is 3-hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) and its activity has been thoroughly characterized in many plant species including dandelion. However, two enzymes acting upstream of HMGR have not been characterized in dandelion latex: ATP citrate lyase (ACL), which provides the acetyl-CoA utilized in the MVA pathway, and acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (AACT), which catalyzes the first step in the pathway to produce acetoacetyl-CoA. Here we isolated ACL and AACT genes from T. brevicorniculatum latex and characterized their expression profiles. We also overexpressed the well-characterized HMGR, ACL and AACT genes from Arabidopsis thaliana in T. brevicorniculatum to determine their impact on isoprenoid end products in the latex.The spatial and temporal expression profiles of T. brevicorniculatum ACL and AACT revealed their pivotal role in the synthesis of precursors necessary for isoprenoid biosynthesis in latex. The overexpression of A. thaliana ACL and AACT and HMGR in T. brevicorniculatum latex resulted in the accumulation of all three enzymes, increased the corresponding enzymatic activities and ultimately increased sterol levels by ~5-fold and pentacyclic triterpene and cis-1,4-isoprene levels by ~2-fold. Remarkably high levels of the triterpene precursor squalene were also detected in the triple-transgenic lines (up to 32 mg/g root dry weight) leading to the formation of numerous lipid droplets which were observed in root cross-sections.We could show the effective expression of up to three transgenes in T. brevicorniculatum latex which led to increased enzymatic activity and resulted in high level squalene accumulation in the dandelion roots up to an industrially relevant amount. Our data provide insight into the regulation of the MVA pathway in dandelion latex and can be used as a basis for metabolic engineering to enhance the production of isoprenoid end products in this specialized tissue.
Project description:Ginkgolides and bilobalide, collectively termed terpene trilactones (TTLs), are terpenoids that form the main active substance of Ginkgo biloba. Terpenoids in the mevalonate (MVA) biosynthetic pathway include acetyl-CoA C-acetyltransferase (AACT) and mevalonate kinase (MVK) as core enzymes. In this study, two full-length (cDNAs) encoding AACT (GbAACT, GenBank Accession No. KX904942) and MVK (GbMVK, GenBank Accession No. KX904944) were cloned from G. biloba. The deduced GbAACT and GbMVK proteins contain 404 and 396 amino acids with the corresponding open-reading frame (ORF) sizes of 1215 bp and 1194 bp, respectively. Tissue expression pattern analysis revealed that GbAACT was highly expressed in ginkgo fruits and leaves, and GbMVK was highly expressed in leaves and roots. The functional complementation of GbAACT in AACT-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain Δerg10 and GbMVK in MVK-deficient strain Δerg12 confirmed that GbAACT mediated the conversion of mevalonate acetyl-CoA to acetoacetyl-CoA and GbMVK mediated the conversion of mevalonate to mevalonate phosphate. This observation indicated that GbAACT and GbMVK are functional genes in the cytosolic mevalonate (MVA) biosynthesis pathway. After G. biloba seedlings were treated with methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid, the expression levels of GbAACT and GbMVK increased, and TTL production was enhanced. The cloning, characterization, expression and functional analysis of GbAACT and GbMVK will be helpful to understand more about the role of these two genes involved in TTL biosynthesis.
Project description:In the mevalonic acid (MVA) pathway, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) is considered the first rate-limiting enzyme in isoprenoid biosynthesis. In this study, we cloned a full-length cDNA from Populus trichocarpa with an open reading frame of 1,734 bp. The deduced PtHMGR sequence contained two HMG-CoA motifs and two NADPH motifs, which exhibited homology with HMGR proteins from other species. Subsequently, truncated PtHMGR was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) cells, and enzyme activity analysis revealed that the truncated PtHMGR protein could catalyze the reaction of HMG-CoA and NADPH to form MVA. Relative expression analysis suggests that PtHMGR expression varies among tissues and that PtHMGR responds significantly to abscisic acid (ABA), NaCl, PEG6000, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and cold stresses. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to select transgenic Nanlin 895 poplars (Populus× euramericana cv.) and quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) to show that PtHMGR expression levels were 3- to 10-fold higher in transgenic lines than in wild-type (WT) poplars. qRT-PCR was also used to determine transcript levels of methylerythritol phosphate (MEP)-, MVA-, and downstream-related genes, indicating that overexpression of PtHMGR not only affects expression levels of MVA-related genes, but also those of MEP-related genes. We also measured the content of terpenoids including ABA, gibberellic acid (GA), carotenes, and lycopene. PtHMGR overexpression significantly increased ABA, GA, carotene, and lycopene content, indicating that PtHMGR participates in the regulation of terpenoid compound synthesis.
Project description:Pentacyclic triterpenes are diverse plant secondary metabolites derived from the mevalonate (MVA) pathway. Many of these molecules are potentially valuable, particularly as pharmaceuticals, and research has focused on their production in simpler and more amenable heterologous systems such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have developed a new heterologous platform for the production of pentacyclic triterpenes in S. cerevisiae based on a combinatorial engineering strategy involving the overexpression of MVA pathway genes, the knockout of negative regulators, and the suppression of a competing pathway. Accordingly, we overexpressed S. cerevisiae ERG13, encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) synthase, and a truncated and deregulated variant of the rate-limiting enzyme HMG-CoA reductase 1 (tHMGR). In the same engineering step, we deleted the ROX1 gene, encoding a negative regulator of the MVA pathway and sterol biosynthesis, resulting in a push-and-pull strategy to enhance metabolic flux through the system. In a second step, we redirected this enhanced metabolic flux from late sterol biosynthesis to the production of 2,3-oxidosqualene, the direct precursor of pentacyclic triterpenes. In yeast cells transformed with a newly isolated sequence encoding lupeol synthase from the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz), we increased the yield of pentacyclic triterpenes by 127-fold and detected not only high levels of lupeol but also a second valuable pentacyclic triterpene product, β-amyrin.
Project description:Bark beetles commonly produce de novo terpenoid pheromones using precursors synthesized through the mevalonate pathway. This process is regulated by Juvenile Hormone III (JH III). In this work, the expression levels of mevalonate pathway genes were quantified after phloem feeding-to induce the endogenous synthesis of JH III-and after the topical application of a JH III solution. The mevalonate pathway genes from D. rhizophagus were cloned, molecularly characterized, and their expression levels were quantified. Also, the terpenoid compounds produced in the gut were identified and quantified by Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The feeding treatment produced an evident upregulation, mainly in acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (AACT), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HMGS), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), phosphomevalonate kinase (PMK), and isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IPPI) genes, and males reached higher expression levels compared to females. In contrast, the JH III treatment did not present a clear pattern of upregulation in any sex or time. Notably, the genes responsible for the synthesis of frontalin and ipsdienol precursors (geranyl diphosphate synthase/farnesyl diphosphate synthase (GPPS/FPPS) and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS)) were not clearly upregulated, nor were these compounds further identified. Furthermore, trans-verbenol and myrtenol were the most abundant compounds in the gut, which are derived from an α-pinene transformation rather than de novo synthesis. Hence, the expression of mevalonate pathway genes in D. rhizophagus gut is not directed to the production of terpenoid pheromones, regardless of their frequent occurrence in the genus Dendroctonus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Terpenoids, the largest class of natural products in the plant kingdom, have been widely used in medicine. The precursors of terpenoids, isoprene phosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP), were synthesized from a mevalonate (MVA) pathway and a 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway respectively. The acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase (AACT) is the initial enzyme in MVA pathway and is considered presently to be essential for terpenoid backbone biosynthesis. The basic research on cytochemistry of terpenoid metabolic enzymes is important for understanding the mechanisms underlying major metabolic processes. However, compartmentalization of AACT in plants is in controversy. Euphorbia helioscopia L. containing laticifers in the whole plant is a famous ancient folk medicine for tumor treatment, and the terpenoid is an active ingredient. Furthermore, the laticifer cell is the main synthesizing and storing site for terpenoids. RESULTS:The gene of AACT was cloned successfully from E. helioscopia, and named as EhAACT. The EhAACT expression has no significant difference among roots, stems and leaves. However, compared with the roots and stems, the EhAACT expression level is slightly higher in leaves. In addition, EhAACT recombinant protein was expressed by procaryotic expression system and anti-EhAACT antibody was prepared, the molecular weight is about 43 kDa. Western blotting results illustrated that the EhAACT antibodies specifically recognized the endogenous proteins in E. helioscopia laticifers. At last, the subcellular localization of EhAACT in E. helioscopia laticifers was observed by using colloidal gold immune-electron microscopy. EhAACT was found to mainly distribute in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), vacuoles originated from ER and cytosol aound vacuoles originated from ER. CONCLUSIONS:As a result, we speculated that in E. helioscopia laticifers, EhAACT located in cytosol would be transferred to small vacuoles dilated from ER, and the precursors of terpenoids were synthesized in these small vacuoles, then terpenoids were further synthesized into latex particles. This result would provide theoretical basis for regulating and controlling of terpenoid biosynthesis in laticifers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) is the primarily commercial source of natural rubber in the world. Latex regeneration and duration of latex flow after tapping are the two factors that determine rubber yield of rubber tree, and exhibit a huge variation between rubber tree clones CATAS8-79 and PR107. RESULTS:To dissect the molecular mechanism for the regulation of latex regeneration and duration of latex flow, we sequenced and comparatively analyzed latex of rubber tree clone CATAS8-79 and PR107 at transriptome level. More than 26 million clean reads were generated in each pool and 51,829 all-unigenes were totally assembled. A total of 6,726 unigenes with differential expression patterns were detected between CATAS8-79 and PR107. Functional analysis showed that genes related to mass of categories were differentially enriched between the two clones. Expression pattern of genes which were involved in latex regeneration and duration of latex flow upon successive tapping was analyzed by quantitative PCR. Several genes related to rubber biosynthesis, cellulose and lignin biosynthesis and rubber particle aggregation were differentially expressed between CATAS8-79 and PR107. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first report about probing latex regeneration and duration of latex flow by comparative transcriptome analysis. Among all the suggested factors, it is more important that the level of endogenous jasmonates, carbohydrate metabolism, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) and Hevea rubber transferase (HRT) in mevalonate (MVA) parthway for latex regeneration while the level of endogenous ethylene (ETH), lignin content of laticifer cell wall, antioxidants and glucanases for the duration of latex flow. These data will provide new cues for understanding the molecular mechanism for the regulation of latex regeneration and duration of latex flow in rubber tree.
Project description:Thiolase I and II coexist as part of the glyoxysomal beta-oxidation system in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) cotyledons, the only system shown to have both forms. The importance of thiolases can be underscored not only by their ubiquity, but also by their involvement in a wide variety of processes in plants, animals and bacteria. Here we describe the cloning, expression and purification of acetoacetyl CoA thiolase (AACT) in enzymatically active form. Use of the extensive amount of sequence information from the databases facilitated the efficient generation of the gene-specific primers used in the RACE protocols. The recombinant AACT (1233 bp) shares 75% similarity with other plant AACTs. Comparison of specific activity of this recombinant AACT to a previously reported enzyme purified from primary sunflower cotyledon tissue was very similar (263 nkat/mg protein vs 220 nkat/mg protein, respectively). Combining the most pure fractions from the affinity column, the enzyme was purified 88-fold with a 55% yield of the enzymatically active, 47 kDa AACT.
Project description:Many reactions within a cell are thermodynamically unfavorable. To efficiently run some of those endergonic reactions, nature evolved intermediate-channeling enzyme complexes, in which the products of the first endergonic reactions are immediately consumed by the second exergonic reactions. Based on this concept, we studied how archaea overcome the unfavorable first reaction of isoprenoid biosynthesis-the condensation of two molecules of acetyl-CoA to acetoacetyl-CoA catalyzed by acetoacetyl-CoA thiolases (thiolases). We natively isolated an enzyme complex comprising the thiolase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA synthase (HMGCS) from a fast-growing methanogenic archaeon, Methanothermococcus thermolithotrophicus HMGCS catalyzes the second reaction in the mevalonate pathway-the exergonic condensation of acetoacetyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA to HMG-CoA. The 380-kDa crystal structure revealed that both enzymes are held together by a third protein (DUF35) with so-far-unknown function. The active-site clefts of thiolase and HMGCS form a fused CoA-binding site, which allows for efficient coupling of the endergonic thiolase reaction with the exergonic HMGCS reaction. The tripartite complex is found in almost all archaeal genomes and in some bacterial ones. In addition, the DUF35 proteins are also important for polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biosynthesis, most probably by functioning as a scaffold protein that connects thiolase with 3-ketoacyl-CoA reductase. This natural and highly conserved enzyme complex offers great potential to improve isoprenoid and PHA biosynthesis in biotechnologically relevant organisms.
Project description:Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) is one of the richest sources of high-value isoprenoid aromatic compounds used as flavour, fragrance, and therapeutic elements. These isoprenoid compounds are synthesized by 2 independent pathways: mevalonate pathway and 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway. Evidence suggests that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) is a rate-controlling enzyme for the synthesis of variety of isoprenoids. This study reports the isolation, characterization, and tissue-specific expression analysis of HMGR from citronella. The modelled HMGR is a class I type of HMGR enzyme with 3-domain architecture. The active site comprises a cofactor (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) and the substrate-binding motifs. The real-time and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results revealed equal expression level in both leaf sheath and root tissue. The results from our study shall be a valuable resource for future molecular intervention to alter the metabolic flux towards improvement of key active ingredient in this important medicinal plant.
Project description:The metabolic cross-talk between the mevalonate (MVA) and the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathways was analyzed in spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia Med) on the basis of 13CO?-labelling experiments using wildtype and transgenic plants overexpressing the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase (HMGR), the first and key enzyme of the MVA pathway. The plants were labelled in the presence of 13CO? in a gas chamber for controlled pulse and chase periods of time. GC/MS and NMR analysis of 1,8-cineole and camphor, the major monoterpenes present in their essential oil, indicated that the C5-precursors, isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) of both monoterpenes are predominantly biosynthesized via the MEP pathway. Surprisingly, overexpression of HMGR did not have significant impact upon the crosstalk between the MVA and MEP pathways indicating that the MEP route is the preferred pathway for the synthesis of C5 monoterpene precursors in spike lavender.