Simultaneous expression of Arabidopsis ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase and MPBQ methyltransferase in transgenic corn kernels triples the tocopherol content.
ABSTRACT The quantity and composition of tocopherols (compounds with vitamin E activity) vary widely among different plant species reflecting the expression, activity and substrate specificity of enzymes in the corresponding metabolic pathway. Two Arabidopsis cDNA clones corresponding to ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) and 2-methyl-6-phytylplastoquinol methyltransferase (MPBQ MT) were constitutively expressed in corn to further characterize the pathway and increase the kernel tocopherol content. Transgenic kernels contained up to 3 times as much γ-tocopherol as their wild type counterparts whereas other tocopherol isomers remained undetectable. Biofortification by metabolic engineering offers a sustainable alternative to vitamin E supplementation for the improvement of human health.
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ABSTRACT: Metabolic engineering can be used to modulate endogenous metabolic pathways in plants or introduce new metabolic capabilities in order to increase the production of a desirable compound or reduce the accumulation of an undesirable one. In practice, there are several major challenges that need to be overcome, such as gaining enough knowledge about the endogenous pathways to understand the best intervention points, identifying and sourcing the most suitable metabolic genes, expressing those genes in such a way as to produce a functional enzyme in a heterologous background, and, finally, achieving the accumulation of target compounds without harming the host plant. This article discusses the strategies that have been developed to engineer complex metabolic pathways in plants, focusing on recent technological developments that allow the most significant bottlenecks to be overcome. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 65 is April 29, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual Review of Plant Biology 02/2014; · 18.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tocochromanol, or vitamin E, plays a crucial role in human and animal nutrition and is synthesized only by photosynthetic organisms. γ-Tocopherol methyltransferase (γ-TMT), one of the key enzymes in the tocopherol biosynthetic pathway in plants, converts γ, δ-tocopherols into α-, β-tocopherols. Tocopherol content was investigated in 15 soybean cultivars and GmTMT2 was isolated from five varieties based on tocopherol content. GmTMT2a was expressed in E. coli and the purified protein effectively converted γ-tocopherol into α-tocopherol in vitro. Overexpression of GmTMT2a enhanced α-tocopherol content 4-6-fold in transgenic Arabidopsis, and α-tocopherol content increased 3-4.5-fold in transgenic maize seed, which correlated with the accumulation of GmTMT2a. Transgenic corn that is α-tocopherol-rich may be beneficial for animal health and growth.Transgenic Research 05/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Transgenic cereals are an attractive option for the accumulation of foreign proteins when large volumes and low cost are required. Previous work has shown maize germ to be a particularly good location for accumulating enzymes that target cellulose for degradation. In this study, recently identified embryo-preferred promoters were used to investigate their ability to increase the accumulation of the enzymes endoglucanase E1 and cellobiohydrolase CBHI. The effect of increasing copy numbers of identical transcription units, as well as multiple copies of the enzyme driven by different promoters, was explored. Results show that accumulation of the E1 or CBHI enzymes can be significantly increased, particularly when using constructs with multiple copies of the transcription units. These findings demonstrate the highest levels of these enzymes obtained in a commercially relevant plant species observed thus far. The methodology described here may provide a low-cost plant-based source of enzymes enabling an economically viable solution for the conversion of cellulose to ethanol.BioEnergy Research 01/2013; 6:699-710. · 3.40 Impact Factor