[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endo-xylanase (from Bacillus subtilis) or ferulic acid esterase (from Aspergillus niger) were expressed in wheat under the control of the endosperm-specific 1DX5 glutenin promoter. Constructs both with and without the endoplasmic reticulum retention signal (Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu) KDEL were used. Transgenic plants were recovered in all four cases but no qualitative differences could be observed whether KDEL was added or not. Endo-xylanase activity in transgenic grains was increased between two and threefold relative to wild type. The grains were shrivelled and had a 25%-33% decrease in mass. Extensive analysis of the cell walls showed a 10%-15% increase in arabinose to xylose ratio, a 50% increase in the proportion of water-extractable arabinoxylan, and a shift in the MW of the water-extractable arabinoxylan from being mainly larger than 85 kD to being between 2 and 85 kD. Ferulic acid esterase-expressing grains were also shrivelled, and the seed weight was decreased by 20%-50%. No ferulic acid esterase activity could be detected in wild-type grains whereas ferulic acid esterase activity was detected in transgenic lines. The grain cell walls had 15%-40% increase in water-unextractable arabinoxylan and a decrease in monomeric ferulic acid between 13% and 34%. In all the plants, the observed changes are consistent with a plant response that serves to minimize the effect of the heterologously expressed enzymes by increasing arabinoxylan biosynthesis and cross-linking.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The biosynthesis of polysaccharides destined for the plant cell wall and the subsequent assembly of the cell wall are poorly understood processes that are currently the focus of much research. Arabinan, a component of the pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan I, is composed of arabinosyl residues connected via various glycosidic linkages, and therefore, the biosynthesis of arabinan is likely to involve more than one arabinosyltransferase. We have studied the transfer of [(14)C]arabinose (Ara) from UDP-L-arabinopyranose onto polysaccharides using microsomal membranes isolated from mung bean (Vigna radiata) hypocotyls. [(14)C]arabinosyl and [(14)C]xylosyl residues were incorporated into endogenous products due to the presence of UDP-Xyl-4-epimerase activity. Enzymatic digestion of endogenous products with endo-arabinanase released very little radiolabeled sugars, whereas digestion with arabinofuranosidase released some [(14)C]Ara. Microsomal membranes solubilized with the detergent octyl glucoside were able to add a single [(14)C]Ara residue onto (1-->5)-linked alpha-L-arabino-oligosaccharide acceptors. The reaction had a pH optimum of 6.5 and a requirement for manganese ions. However, enzymatic digestion of the radiolabeled oligosaccharides with endo-arabinanase and arabinofuranosidases could not fully release the radiolabeled Ara residue, indicating that the [(14)C]Ara residue was not a (1-->2)-, (1-->3)-, or (1-->5)-linked alpha-L-arabinofuranosyl residue. Rather, mild acid treatment of the product suggested that the radiolabeled Ara residue was in a pyranose conformation, and this result was confirmed by thin-layer chromatography of radiolabeled partially methylated sugars. Using microsomal membranes separated on a discontinuous sucrose gradient, the arabinosyltransferase activity appears to be mainly localized to Golgi membranes.