The hydroxynitrile lyase from almond: a lyase that looks like an oxidoreductase. (1/487)

BACKGROUND: Cyanogenesis is a defense process of several thousand plant species. Hydroxynitrile lyase, a key enzyme of this process, cleaves a cyanohydrin into hydrocyanic acid and the corresponding aldehyde or ketone. The reverse reaction constitutes an important tool in biocatalysis. Different classes of hydroxynitrile lyases have convergently evolved from FAD-dependent oxidoreductases, alpha/beta hydrolases, and alcohol dehydrogenases. The FAD-dependent hydroxynitrile lyases (FAD-HNLs) carry a flavin cofactor whose redox properties appear to be unimportant for catalysis. RESULTS: We have determined the crystal structure of a 61 kDa hydroxynitrile lyase isoenzyme from Prunus amygdalus (PaHNL1) to 1.5 A resolution. Clear electron density originating from four glycosylation sites could be observed. As concerns the overall protein fold including the FAD cofactor, PaHNL1 belongs to the family of GMC oxidoreductases. The active site for the HNL reaction is probably at a very similar position as the active sites in homologous oxidases. CONCLUSIONS: There is strong evidence from the structure and the reaction product that FAD-dependent hydroxynitrile lyases have evolved from an aryl alcohol oxidizing precursor. Since key residues implicated in oxidoreductase activity are also present in PaHNL1, it is not obvious why this enzyme shows no oxidase activity. Similarly, features proposed to be relevant for hydroxy-nitrile lyase activity in other hydroxynitrile lyases, i.e., a general base and a positive charge to stabilize the cyanide, are not obviously present in the putative active site of PaHNL1. Therefore, the reason for its HNL activity is far from being well understood at this point.  (+info)

Quantitative determination of flavonoids in the flowers and leaves of Prunus spinosa L. (2/487)

The content of flavonoids in the flowers and leaves of Prunus spinosa L. was determined by spectrophotometric and RP-HPLC method. Determinations included hydrolysis of flavonoid glycosides in extracts from raw materials and then quantitative analysis of the obtained aglycones. Results were calculated for the content of glycosides and statistical analysis of the obtained data was performed.  (+info)

The active site of hydroxynitrile lyase from Prunus amygdalus: modeling studies provide new insights into the mechanism of cyanogenesis. (3/487)

The FAD-dependent hydroxynitrile lyase from almond (Prunus amygdalus, PaHNL) catalyzes the cleavage of R-mandelonitrile into benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid. Catalysis of the reverse reaction-the enantiospecific formation of alpha-hydroxynitriles--is now widely utilized in organic syntheses as one of the few industrially relevant examples of enzyme-mediated C-C bond formation. Starting from the recently determined X-ray crystal structure, systematic docking calculations with the natural substrate were used to locate the active site of the enzyme and to identify amino acid residues involved in substrate binding and catalysis. Analysis of the modeled substrate complexes supports an enzymatic mechanism that includes the flavin cofactor as a mere "spectator" of the reaction and relies on general acid/base catalysis by the conserved His-497. Stabilization of the negative charge of the cyanide ion is accomplished by a pronounced positive electrostatic potential at the binding site. PaHNL activity requires the FAD cofactor to be bound in its oxidized form, and calculations of the pKa of enzyme-bound HCN showed that the observed inactivation upon cofactor reduction is largely caused by the reversal of the electrostatic potential within the active site. The suggested mechanism closely resembles the one proposed for the FAD-independent, and structurally unrelated HNL from Hevea brasiliensis. Although the actual amino acid residues involved in the catalytic cycle are completely different in the two enzymes, a common motif for the mechanism of cyanogenesis (general acid/base catalysis plus electrostatic stabilization of the cyanide ion) becomes evident.  (+info)

The complete nucleotide sequence of RNA 3 of a peach isolate of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus. (4/487)

The complete nucleotide sequence of RNA 3 of the PE-5 peach isolate of Prunus necrotic ringspot ilarvirus (PNRSV) was obtained from cloned cDNA. The RNA sequence is 1941 nucleotides and contains two open reading frames (ORFs). ORF 1 consisted of 284 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 31,729 Da and ORF 2 contained 224 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 25,018 Da. ORF 2 corresponds to the coat protein gene. Expression of ORF 2 engineered into a pTrcHis vector in Escherichia coli results in a fusion polypeptide of approximately 28 kDa which cross-reacts with PNRSV polyclonal antiserum. Analysis of the coat protein amino acid sequence reveals a putative "zinc-finger" domain at the amino-terminal portion of the protein. Two tetranucleotide AUGC motifs occur in the 3'-UTR of the RNA and may function in coat protein binding and genome activation. ORF 1 homologies to other ilarviruses and alfalfa mosaic virus are confined to limited regions of conserved amino acids. The translated amino acid sequence of the coat protein gene shows 92% similarity to one isolate of apple mosaic virus, a closely related member of the ilarvirus group of plant viruses, but only 66% similarity to the amino acid sequence of the coat protein gene of a second isolate. These relationships are also reflected at the nucleotide sequence level. These results in one instance confirm the close similarities observed at the biophysical and serological levels between these two viruses, but on the other hand call into question the nomenclature used to describe these viruses.  (+info)

Ethylene-responsive genes are differentially regulated during abscission, organ senescence and wounding in peach (Prunus persica). (5/487)

Ethylene-responsive genes from peach (Prunus persica, L. Batsch) were isolated by differential screening of a cDNA library constructed from abscission zones in which cell separation had been evoked by treatment with the ethylene analogue propylene. DNA and deduced protein sequences of four selected clones, termed Prunus persica Abscission zone (PpAz), revealed homology to thaumatin-like proteins (PpAz8 and PpAz44), to proteins belonging to the PR4 class of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins (PpAz89), and to fungal and plant beta-D-xylosidases (PpAz152). Expression analyses conducted on embrioctomized and CEPA-treated fruitlets as well as on fruit explants have shown that PpAz8, PpAz44 and PpAz89 are preferentially transcribed in the cells of the fruit abscission zone rather than in the non-zone tissues. The PpAz152 transcript showed a different accumulation pattern being consistently and promptly induced by wounding and only slightly stimulated by propylene. By contrast, a complex pattern of transcript accumulation was found for the four genes in response to the wounding of leaves and during organ development and senescence. Based on this evidence, the existence of multiple regulatory pathways underlying the differential expression of the four PpAz genes in the different tissues and physiological processes is hypothesized.  (+info)

Flavonoids from the flowers of Prunus spinosa L. (6/487)

Eight flavonoids were isolated from the flowers of Prunus spinosa: kaempferol, quercetin, kaempferol 3-O-alpha-L-arabinofuranoside, quercetin 3-O-alpha-L-arabinofuranoside, kaempferol 3-O-alpha-L-ramnopyranoside, kaempferol 7-O-alpha-L-ramnopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-beta-D-xylopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-(2''-E-p-coumaroyl)-alpha-L-arabinofuranoside. The last three have been found for the first time in this plant. The structure of the compounds was determined by means of chemical and spectral methods (UV, IR, LSI MS, 1H NMR, 13C NMR).  (+info)

Distinct nuclear organization, DNA methylation pattern and cytokinin distribution mark juvenile, juvenile-like and adult vegetative apical meristems in peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch). (7/487)

Chromatin organization, nuclear DNA methylation and endogenous zeatin localization were investigated in shoot apical meristems (SAM) during juvenile and adult phases of peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch). The aim was to examine the extent to which these parameters could discriminate the juvenile and adult SAMs. Seedlings (juvenile, cannot flower), basal shoots (called juvenile-like, because they exhibit juvenile macroscopic traits) and apical shoots (competent to form flowers) of adult plants were chosen. Nuclear chromatin exhibited chromocentres that were peripherally distributed in SAMs of juvenile and juvenile-like shoots, but were diffusely spread in those of adult shoots. These patterns coincided with a peripheral labelling of DNA methylation in juvenile and juvenile-like meristem nuclei versus a diffuse labelling pattern in adult meristem nuclei. During vegetative growth (from March to June), the level of nuclear DNA methylation was higher in adult meristems than in juvenile and juvenile-like ones. The immunolocalization of zeatin in juvenile SAM was in the subapical region, but adult meristems exhibited a widespread localization or a signal confined within the boundaries of the central zone. The extent to which the acquisition of a strongly zonated pattern of these parameters as markers of floral competence in adult SAMs is discussed.  (+info)

Molecular characterisation of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) genotypes using peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] SSR sequences. (8/487)

A total of 76 sweet cherry genotypes were screened with 34 microsatellite primer pairs previously developed in peach. Amplification of SSR loci was obtained for 24 of the microsatellite primer pairs, and 14 of them produced polymorphic amplification patterns. On the basis of polymorphism and quality of amplification, a set of nine primer pairs and the resulting 27 informative alleles were used to identify 72 genotype profiles. Of these, 68 correspond to unique cultivar genotypes, and the remaining four correspond to three cultivars that could not be differentiated from the two original genotypes of which they are mutants, and two very closely related cultivars. The mean number of alleles per locus was 3.7 while the mean heterozygosity over the nine polymorphic loci averaged 0.49. The results demonstrate the usefulness of cross-species transferability of microsatellite sequences allowing the discrimination of different genotypes of a fruit tree species with sequences developed in other species of the same genus. UPGMA cluster analysis of the similarity data divided the ancient genotypes studied into two fairly well-defined groups that reflect their geographic origin, one with genotypes originating in southern Europe and the other with the genotypes from northern Europe and North America.  (+info)