alexa Identification of cDNAs encoding sterol methyl-transferases involved in the second methylation step of plant sterol biosynthesis.
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Rice Research: Open Access

Author(s): BouvierNav P, Husselstein T, Desprez T, Benveniste P, BouvierNav P, Husselstein T, Desprez T, Benveniste P, BouvierNav P, Husselstein T, Desprez T, Benveniste P, BouvierNav P, Husselstein T, Desprez T, Benveniste P

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Abstract Two methyl transfers are involved in the course of plant sterol biosynthesis and responsible for the formation of 24-alkyl sterols (mainly 24-ethyl sterols) which play major roles in plant growth and development. The first methyl transfer applies to cycloartenol, the second one to 24-methylene lophenol. Five cDNA clones encoding two Arabidopsis thaliana, two Nicotiana tabacum and one Ricinus communis S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) sterol methyltransferases (SMT) were isolated. The deduced amino acid sequences of A. thaliana and N. tabacum SMT are about 80\% identical in all possible combinations. In contrast they are about 40\% identical with the deduced amino acid sequence of R. communis SMT and the published Glycine max sequence. Both A. thaliana and one N. tabacum SMT cDNAs were expressed in a yeast null mutant erg6, deficient in AdoMet zymosterol C24-methyltransferase and containing C24-non-alkylated sterols. In all cases, several 24-ethylidene sterols were synthesized. A thorough study of the sterolic composition of erg6 expressing the A. thaliana cDNA 411 (erg6-4118-pYeDP60) showed 24-methylene and 24-ethylidene derivatives of 4-desmethyl, 4alpha-methyl and 4,4-dimethyl sterols as well as 24-methyl and 24-ethyl derivatives of 4-desmethyl sterols. The structure of 5alpha-stigmasta-8, Z-24(24(1))-dien-3beta-ol, the major sterol of transformed yeasts, was demonstrated by 400 MHz 1H NMR. Microsomes from erg6-4118-pYeDP60 were shown to possess AdoMet-dependent sterol-C-methyltransferase activity. Delipidated preparations of these microsomes converted cycloartenol into 24-methylene cycloartanol and 24-methylene lophenol into 24-ethylidene lophenol, thus allowing the first identification of a plant sterol-C-methyltransferase cDNA. The catalytic efficiency of the expressed SMT was 17-times higher with 24-methylene lophenol than with cycloartenol. This result provides evidence that the A. thaliana cDNA 411 (and most probably the 3 plant SMT cDNAs presenting 80\% identity with it) encodes a 24-methylene lophenol-C-24(1) methyltransferase catalyzing the second methylation step of plant sterol biosynthesis.
This article was published in Eur J Biochem and referenced in Rice Research: Open Access

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