Integrated Analysis of the Transcriptome and Metabolome of Cecropia obtusifolia: A Plant with High Chlorogenic Acid Content Traditionally Used to Treat Diabetes Mellitus.
ABSTRACT: This investigation cultured Cecropia obtusifolia cells in suspension to evaluate the effect of nitrate deficiency on the growth and production of chlorogenic acid (CGA), a secondary metabolite with hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity that acts directly on type 2 diabetes mellitus. Using cell cultures in suspension, a kinetics time course was established with six time points and four total nitrate concentrations. The metabolites of interest were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the metabolome was analyzed using directed and nondirected approaches. Finally, using RNA-seq methodology, the first transcript collection for C. obtusifolia was generated. HPLC analysis detected CGA at all sampling points, while metabolomic analysis confirmed the identity of CGA and of precursors involved in its biosynthesis. Transcriptome analysis identified differentially expressed genes and enzymes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of CGA. C. obtusifolia probably expresses a key enzyme with bifunctional activity, the hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase and hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HQT/HCT), which recognizes shikimic acid or quinic acid as a substrate and incorporates either into one of the two routes responsible for CGA biosynthesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lonicera japonica Thunb. is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, and antiviral pharmacological properties. The major active secondary metabolites of this plant are chlorogenic acid (CGA) and luteoloside. While the biosynthetic pathways of these metabolites are relatively well known, the genetic information available for this species, especially the biosynthetic pathways of its active ingredients, is limited. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We obtained one million reads (average length of 400 bp) in a whole sequence run using a Roche/454 GS FLX titanium platform. Altogether, 85.69% of the unigenes covering the entire life cycle of the plant were annotated and 325 unigenes were assigned to secondary metabolic pathways. Moreover, 2039 unigenes were predicted as transcription factors. Nearly all of the possible enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of CGA and luteoloside were discovered in L. japonica. Three hydroxycinnamoyl transferase genes, including two hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase genes and one hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) gene featuring high similarity to known genes from other species, were cloned. The HCT gene was discovered for the first time in L. japonica. In addition, 188 candidate cytochrome P450 unigenes and 245 glycosyltransferase unigenes were found in the expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset. CONCLUSION: This study provides a high quality EST database for L. japonica by 454 pyrosequencing. Based on the EST annotation, a set of putative genes involved in CGA and luteoloside biosynthetic pathways were discovered. The database serves as an important source of public information on genetic markers, gene expression, genomics, and functional genomics in L. japonica.
Project description:Lonicera macranthoides Hand.-Mazz (L. macranthoides) is a medicinal herb that is widely distributed in southern China. The biosynthetic and metabolic pathways for a core secondary metabolite in L. macranthoides, chlorogenic acid (CGA), have been elucidated in many species. However, the mechanisms of CGA biosynthesis and the related gene regulatory network in L. macranthoides are still not well understood. In this study, CGA content was quantified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and CGA levels differed significantly among three tissues; specifically, the CGA content in young leaves (YL) was greater than that in young stems (YS), which was greater than that in mature flowers (MF). Transcriptome analysis of L. macranthoides yielded a total of 53,533,014 clean reads (average length 90 bp) and 76,453 unigenes (average length 703 bp). A total of 3,767 unigenes were involved in biosynthesis pathways of secondary metabolites. Of these unigenes, 80 were possibly related to CGA biosynthesis. Furthermore, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened in different tissues including YL, MF and YS. In these tissues, 24 DEGs were found to be associated with CGA biosynthesis, including six phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) genes, six 4-coumarate coenzyme A ligase (4CL) genes, four cinnamate 4-Hydroxylase (C4H) genes, seven hydroxycinnamoyl transferase/hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate transferase HCT/HQT genes and one coumarate 3-hydroxylase (C3H) gene.These results further the understanding of CGA biosynthesis and the related regulatory network in L. macranthoides.
Project description:Globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus) is a rich source of compounds promoting human health (phytonutrients), among them caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs), mainly represented by chlorogenic acid (CGA), and dicaffeoylquinic acids (diCQAs). The enzymes involved in their biosynthesis belong to the large family of BAHD acyltransferases. Following a survey of the globe artichoke genome, we identified 69 BAHD proteins carrying the catalytic site (HXXXD). Their phylogenetic analysis together with another 43 proteins, from 21 species, representative of the BAHD family, highlighted their grouping in seven major clades. Nine globe artichoke acyltransferases clustered in a sub-group of Clade V, with 3 belonging to hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HQT) and 2 to hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) like proteins. We focused our attention on the former, HQT1, HQT2, and HQT3, as they are known to play a key role in CGA biosynthesis. The expression of genes coding for the three HQTs and correlation of expression with the CQA content is reported for different globe artichoke tissues. For the first time in the globe artichoke, we developed and applied the virus-induced gene silencing approach with the goal of assessing in vivo the effect of HQT1 silencing, which resulted in a marked reduction of both CGA and diCQAs. On the other hand, when the role of the three HQTs was assessed in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana through their transient overexpression, significant increases in mono- and diCQAs content were observed. Using transient GFP fusion proteins expressed in N. benthamiana leaves we also established the sub-cellular localization of these three enzymes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The leaves of globe artichoke and cultivated cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) have significant pharmaceutical properties, which mainly result from their high content of polyphenolic compounds such as monocaffeoylquinic and dicaffeoylquinic acid (DCQ), and a range of flavonoid compounds. RESULTS: Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HQT) encoding genes have been isolated from both globe artichoke and cultivated cardoon (GenBank accessions DQ915589 and DQ915590, respectively) using CODEHOP and PCR-RACE. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that their sequences belong to one of the major acyltransferase groups (anthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferase). The heterologous expression of globe artichoke HQT in E. coli showed that this enzyme can catalyze the esterification of quinic acid with caffeoyl-CoA or p-coumaroyl-CoA to generate, respectively, chlorogenic acid (CGA) and p-coumaroyl quinate. Real time PCR experiments demonstrated an increase in the expression level of HQT in UV-C treated leaves, and established a correlation between the synthesis of phenolic acids and protection against damage due to abiotic stress. The HQT gene, together with a gene encoding hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HCT) previously isolated from globe artichoke, have been incorporated within the developing globe artichoke linkage maps. CONCLUSION: A novel acyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of CGA in globe artichoke has been isolated, characterized and mapped. This is a good basis for our effort to understand the genetic basis of phenylpropanoid (PP) biosynthesis in C. cardunculus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cynara cardunculus L. is an edible plant of pharmaceutical interest, in particular with respect to the polyphenolic content of its leaves. It includes three taxa: globe artichoke, cultivated cardoon, and wild cardoon. The dominating phenolics are the di-caffeoylquinic acids (such as cynarin), which are largely restricted to Cynara species, along with their precursor, chlorogenic acid (CGA). The scope of this study is to better understand CGA synthesis in this plant. RESULTS: A gene sequence encoding a hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HCT) involved in the synthesis of CGA, was identified. Isolation of the gene sequence was achieved by using a PCR strategy with degenerated primers targeted to conserved regions of orthologous HCT sequences available. We have isolated a 717 bp cDNA which shares 84% aminoacid identity and 92% similarity with a tobacco gene responsible for the biosynthesis of CGA from p-coumaroyl-CoA and quinic acid. In silico studies revealed the globe artichoke HCT sequence clustering with one of the main acyltransferase groups (i.e. anthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferase). Heterologous expression of the full length HCT (GenBank accession DQ104740) cDNA in E. coli demonstrated that the recombinant enzyme efficiently synthesizes both chlorogenic acid and p-coumaroyl quinate from quinic acid and caffeoyl-CoA or p-coumaroyl-CoA, respectively, confirming its identity as a hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA: quinate HCT. Variable levels of HCT expression were shown among wild and cultivated forms of C. cardunculus subspecies. The level of expression was correlated with CGA content. CONCLUSION: The data support the predicted involvement of the Cynara cardunculus HCT in the biosynthesis of CGA before and/or after the hydroxylation step of hydroxycinnamoyl esters.
Project description:Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate transferase (HQT) is one of the key enzymes in the biosynthesis of chlorogenic acid (CGA) in the flowers of <i>Lonicera japonica</i>. However, the spatiotemporal expression patterns of <i>HQT</i> and its relationship to the dynamics of CGA biosynthesis, transport, and storage remain largely unknown. In this study, we collected <i>L. japonica</i> flower samples at different growth stages (S1-S6) and examined the spatiotemporal expression pattern of <i>HQT</i> and the dynamic accumulation patterns of CGA using a combination of molecular and cytological techniques. Our results suggest that the spatiotemporal expression pattern of <i>HQT</i> is directly correlated with dynamic changes in CGA accumulation and distribution in <i>L. japonica</i> flowers. We further show that CGA is synthesized primarily in the cytoplasm and chloroplasts. CGA synthesized in the cytoplasm first accumulates in specialized vesicles and is then transferred to large central vacuoles for storage by fusion of CGA-containing vesicles with vacuoles. Furthermore, CGA synthesized in the chloroplasts appears to be transferred into the vacuoles for storage by direct membrane fusion between the tonoplast and the disrupted chloroplast membranes. Collectively, our results suggest that CGA is synthesized in chloroplasts and cytoplasm and finally transferred to the vacuole for long-term storage.
Project description:Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are a group of soluble phenolic compounds that are produced by a variety of plants, including Coffea canephora (robusta coffee). The last step in CGA biosynthesis is generally catalysed by a specific hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HQT), but it can also be catalysed by the more widely distributed hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HCT). Here, the cloning and overexpression of HCT from C. canephora in Escherichia coli as well as its purification and crystallization are presented. Crystals were obtained by the sitting-drop technique at 293?K and X-ray diffraction data were collected on the microfocus beamline ID23-2 at the ESRF. The HCT crystals diffracted to better than 3.0?Å resolution, belonged to space group P4(2)2(1)2 with unit-cell parameters a = b = 116.1, c = 158.9?Å and contained two molecules in the asymmetric unit. The structure was solved by molecular replacement and is currently under refinement. Such structural data are needed to decipher the molecular basis of the substrate specifities of this key enzyme, which belongs to the large plant acyl-CoA-dependent BAHD acyltransferase superfamily.
Project description:Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) sprouts accumulate high amounts of caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) including chlorogenic acid (5-CQA) and 1,5-diCQA. These compounds, which can be found in many plants, including tomato, globe artichoke, and chicory, have many health benefits, including antioxidant, antihepatotoxic, and antiglycative activities. However, CQA profiles and biosynthesis have not previously been studied in sunflower sprouts. In the present study, we found that 5-CQA and 1,5-diCQA were the major CQAs found in sunflower sprouts. We also identified minor accumulation of other CQAs, namely 3-CQA, 4-CQA, 3,4-diCQA, and 4,5-diCQA. According to genome-wide identification and phylogenetic analysis of genes involved in CQA biosynthesis in sunflower, three genes (HaHQT1, HaHQT2, and HaHQT3) encoding hydroxycinnamoyl CoA:quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HQT) and two genes (HaHCT1 and HaHCT2) encoding hydroxycinnamoyl CoA:shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) were identified. Expression analysis of these five genes in hypocotyls and cotyledons strongly suggested that HaHQT2 could be the main enzyme responsible for CQA biosynthesis, as HaHQT2 had the highest expression levels. In addition, when transiently expressed in the leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, all three HaHQTs, which were soluble and not membrane-bound enzymes, could increase the content of 5-CQA by up to 94% compared to that in a control. Overall, our results increase understanding of CQA biosynthesis in sunflower sprouts and could be exploited by plant breeders to enhance accumulation of health-promoting CQAs in these plants.
Project description:Senna obtusifolia and Senna occidentalis (Leguminosae), whose seeds have similar appearance and chemical constituents, are easily confused in using their seeds. To elucidate the similarities and differences between S. obtusifolia seeds and S. occidentalis seeds, three molecular markers and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were employed to evaluate the seeds characteristics of these two medicinal herbs.The results showed that selected 3 ISSR and 7 SCoT primers could distinguish S. obtusifolia seeds from S. occidentalis seeds based on the specific band and UPGMA dendrogram. ITS2 sequence indicated that the intra-specific similarity of 20 S. obtusifolia and 16 S. occidentalis was 99.79 and 100.0%, respectively, while the inter-specific similarity between S . obtusifolia and S. occidentalis was 89.58%. Although phylogenetic analysis revealed that these two species had a close relationship, they were assigned to different branches. HPLC fingerprint results showed that seeds of S. obtusifolia and S. occidentalis shared some secondary metabolites, but aurantio-obtusin was not detected in S. occidentalis seeds which could differentiate S. obtusifolia seeds from S. occidentalis seeds.The present study not only compared the seeds characters of S. obtusifolia and S. occidentalis from molecular and secondary metabolites levels, but also provided a convenient method to identify S. obtusifolia seeds and S. occidentalis seeds effectively.
Project description:Chicory (Cichorium intybus) accumulates caffeic acid esters with important significance for human health. In this study, we aim at a better understanding of the biochemical pathway of these bioactive compounds. Detailed metabolic analysis reveals that C. intybus predominantly accumulates caftaric and chicoric acids in leaves, whereas isochlorogenic acid (3,5-diCQA) was almost exclusively accumulated in roots. Chlorogenic acid (3-CQA) was equally distributed in all organs. Interestingly, distribution of the four compounds was related to leaf age. Induction with methyljasmonate (MeJA) of root cell suspension cultures results in an increase of 3-CQA and 3,5-diCQA contents. Expressed sequence tag libraries were screened using members of the BAHD family identified in Arabidopsis and tobacco as baits. The full-length cDNAs of five genes were isolated. Predicted amino acid sequence analyses revealed typical features of BAHD family members. Biochemical characterization of the recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli showed that two genes encode HCTs (hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferases, HCT1 and HCT2) whereas, three genes encode HQTs (hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:quinate hydroxycinnamoyltransferases, HQT1, HQT2, and HQT3). These results totally agreed with the phylogenetic analysis done with the predicted amino acid sequences. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of gene expression indicated that HQT3, HCT1, and HCT2 might be more directly associated with CQA accumulation in cell culture in response to MeJA elicitation. Transient expression of HCT1 and HQT1 in tobacco resulted in a higher production of 3-CQA. All together these data confirm the involvement of functionally redundant genes in 3-CQA and related compound synthesis in the Asteraceae family.