Enhancing lignan biosynthesis by over-expressing pinoresinol lariciresinol reductase in transgenic wheat.
ABSTRACT Lignans are phenylpropane dimers that are biosynthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway, in which pinoresinol lariciresinol reductase (PLR) catalyzes the last steps of lignan production. Our previous studies demonstrated that the contents of lignans in various wheat cultivars were significantly associated with anti-tumor activities in APC(Min) mice. To enhance lignan biosynthesis, this study was conducted to transform wheat cultivars ('Bobwhite', 'Madison', and 'Fielder', respectively) with the Forsythia intermedia PLR gene under the regulatory control of maize ubiquitin promoter. Of 24 putative transgenic wheat lines, we successfully obtained 3 transformants with the inserted ubiquitin-PLR gene as screened by PCR. Southern blot analysis further demonstrated that different copies of the PLR gene up to 5 were carried out in their genomes. Furthermore, a real-time PCR indicated approximately 17% increase of PLR gene expression over the control in 2 of the 3 positive transformants at T(0) generation. The levels of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, a prominent lignan in wheat as determined by HPLC-MS, were found to be 2.2-times higher in one of the three positive transgenic sub-lines at T(2 )than that in the wild-type (117.9 +/- 4.5 vs. 52.9 +/- 19.8 mug/g, p <0.005). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that elevated lignan levels in a transgenic wheat line has been successfully achieved through genetic engineering of over-expressed PLR gene. Although future studies are needed for a stably expression and more efficient transformants, the new wheat line with significantly higher SDG contents obtained from this study may have potential application in providing additive health benefits for cancer prevention.
SourceAvailable from: Atsushi Okazawa[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Pinoresinol reductase and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase play important roles in an early step of lignan biosynthesis in plants. The activities of both enzymes have also been detected in bacteria. In this study, pinZ, which was first isolated as a gene for bacterial pinoresinol reductase, was constitutively expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. Higher reductive activity toward pinoresinol was detected in the resultant transgenic plants but not in wild-type plant. Principal component analysis of data from untargeted metabolome analyses of stem, root, and leaf extracts of the wild-type and two independent transgenic lines indicate that pinZ expression caused dynamic metabolic changes in stems, but not in roots and leaves. The metabolome data also suggest that expression of pinZ influenced the metabolisms of lignan and glucosinolates but not so much of neolignans such as guaiacylglycerol-8-O-4'-feruloyl ethers. In-depth quantitative analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) indicated that amounts of pinoresinol and its glucoside form were markedly reduced in the transgenic plant, whereas the amounts of glucoside form of secoisolariciresinol in transgenic roots, leaves, and stems increased. The detected levels of lariciresinol in the transgenic plant following β-glucosidase treatment also tended to be higher than those in the wild-type plant. Our findings indicate that overexpression of pinZ induces change in lignan compositions and has a major effect not only on lignan biosynthesis but also on biosynthesis of other primary and secondary metabolites.Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00253-014-5934-x · 3.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Wheat stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is a devastating disease that can cause severe yield losses. A new Pgt race designated Ug99 has overcome most of the widely used resistance genes and is threatening major wheat production areas. Here, we demonstrate that the Sr35 gene from Triticum monococcum is a coiled coil-nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat gene that confers near-immunity to Ug99 and related races. This gene is absent in the A-genome diploid donor and in polyploid wheat, but is effective when transferred from T. monococcum to polyploid wheat. The cloning of Sr35 opens the door to the use of biotechnological approaches to control this devastating disease and to the analyses of the molecular interactions that define the wheat-rust pathosystem.Science 06/2013; 341(6147). DOI:10.1126/science.1239022 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lignans of Forsythia spp. are essential components of various Chinese medicines and health diets. However, the seasonal alteration in lignan amounts and the gene expression profile of lignan-biosynthetic enzymes has yet to be investigated. In this study, we have assessed seasonal alteration in amounts of major lignans, such as pinoresinol, matairesinol, and arctigenin, and examined the gene expression profile of pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase (PLR), pinoresinol-glucosylating enzyme (UGT71A18), and secoisolariciresinol dehydrogenase (SIRD) in the leaf of Forsythia suspense from April to November. All of the lignans in the leaf continuously increased from April to June, reached the maximal level in June, and then decreased. 90% of pinoresinol and matairesinol was converted into glucosides, while approximately 50% of arctigenin was aglycone. PLR was stably expressed from April to August, whereas the PLR expression was not detected from September to November. In contrast, the UGT71A18 expression was found from August to November, but not from April to July. The SIRD expression was prominent from April to May, not detected in June to July, and then increased again from September to November. These expression profiles of the lignan-synthetic enzymes are largely compatible with the alteration in lignan contents. Furthermore, such seasonal lignan profiles are in good agreement with the fact that the Forsythia leaves for Chinese medicinal tea are harvested in June. This is the first report on seasonal alteration in lignans and the relevant biosynthetic enzyme genes in the leaf of Forsythia species.Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 07/2013; DOI:10.1248/bpb.b13-00437 · 1.78 Impact Factor