cDNA cloning, heterologous expressions, and functional characterization of malonyl-coenzyme a:anthocyanidin 3-o-glucoside-6"-o-malonyltransferase from dahlia flowers.
In the flowers of important ornamental Compositae plants, anthocyanins generally carry malonyl group(s) at their 3-glucosyl moiety. In this study, for the first time to our knowledge, we have identified a cDNA coding for this 3-glucoside-specific malonyltransferase for anthocyanins, i.e. malonyl-coenzyme A:anthocyanidin 3-O-glucoside-6"-O-malonyltransferase, from dahlia (Dahlia variabilis) flowers. We isolated a full-length cDNA (Dv3MaT) on the basis of amino acid sequences specifically conserved among anthocyanin acyltransferases of the versatile plant acyltransferase family. Dv3MaT coded for a protein of 460 amino acids. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses of Dv3MaT showed that the transcript was present in accordance with the distribution of 3MaT activities and the anthocyanin accumulation pattern in the dahlia plant. The Dv3MaT cDNA was expressed in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity and characterized. The recombinant Dv3MaT catalyzed the regiospecific transfer of the malonyl group from malonyl-coenzyme A (K(m), 18.8 microM) to pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside (K(m), 46.7 microM) to produce pelargonidin 3-O-6"-O-malonylglucoside with a k(cat) value of 7.3 s(-1). The other enzymatic profiles of the recombinant Dv3MaT were closely related to those of native anthocyanin malonyltransferase activity in the extracts of dahlia flowers. Dv3MaT cDNA was introduced into petunia (Petunia hybrida) plants whose red floral color is exclusively provided by cyanidin 3-O-glucoside and 3,5-O-diglucoside. Thirteen transgenic lines of petunia were found to produce malonylated products of these anthocyanins (11-63 mol % of total anthocyanins in the flower). The spectral stability of cyanidin 3-O-6"-O-malonylglucoside at the pHs of intracellular milieus of flowers was significantly higher than that of cyanidin 3-O-glucoside. Moreover, 6"-O-malonylation of cyanidin 3-O-glucoside effectively prevented the anthocyanin from attack of beta-glucosidase. These results suggest that malonylation should serve as a strategy for pigment stabilization in the flowers. (+info)
Yellow flowers generated by expression of the aurone biosynthetic pathway.
Flower color is most often conferred by colored flavonoid pigments. Aurone flavonoids confer a bright yellow color on flowers such as snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) and dahlia (Dahlia variabilis). A. majus aureusidin synthase (AmAS1) was identified as the key enzyme that catalyzes aurone biosynthesis from chalcones, but transgenic flowers overexpressing AmAS1 gene failed to produce aurones. Here, we report that chalcone 4'-O-glucosyltransferase (4'CGT) is essential for aurone biosynthesis and yellow coloration in vivo. Coexpression of the Am4'CGT and AmAS1 genes was sufficient for the accumulation of aureusidin 6-O-glucoside in transgenic flowers (Torenia hybrida). Furthermore, their coexpression combined with down-regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in yellow flowers. An Am4'CGT-GFP chimeric protein localized in the cytoplasm, whereas the AmAS1(N1-60)-RFP chimeric protein was localized to the vacuole. We therefore conclude that chalcones are 4'-O-glucosylated in the cytoplasm, their 4'-O-glucosides transported to the vacuole, and therein enzymatically converted to aurone 6-O-glucosides. This metabolic pathway is unique among the known examples of flavonoid, including anthocyanin biosynthesis because, for all other compounds, the carbon backbone is completed before transport to the vacuole. Our findings herein not only demonstrate the biochemical basis of aurone biosynthesis but also open the way to engineering yellow flowers for major ornamental species lacking this color variant. (+info)
A new and distinct species in the genus Caulimovirus exists as an endogenous plant pararetroviral sequence in its host, Dahlia variabilis.