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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Aug;64(8):1696-701.

CYP78A1 preferentially expressed in developing inflorescences of Zea mays encoded a cytochrome P450-dependent lauric acid 12-monooxygenase.

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  • 1Center for Cooperative Research and Development, Faculty of Agriculture, Kobe University, Japan.


Cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP) monooxygenases play an important role in the oxidation of a number of lipophilic substrates including secondary metabolites in higher plants. Larkin reported that CYP78A1 was preferentially expressed in developing inflorescences of Zea mays (Larkin, Plant Mol. Biol. 25: 343-353, 1994). However, the enzymatic function of CYP78A1 hasn't been clarified yet. To characterized the enzymatic activity of CYP78A1, in this study, CYP78A1 cDNA and tobacco or yeast NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (P450 reductase) was expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae AH22 cells under the control of alcohol dehydrogenase promoter I and terminator. The reduced CO-difference spectrum of a microsomal fraction prepared from the transformed yeast cells expressing CYP78A1 and yeast P450 reductase showed a peak at 449 nm. Based on the spectrum, the content of a P450 molecule was estimated to be 45 pmol P450 equivalent/ mg of protein in the microsomal fraction. The recombinant yeast microsomes containing CYP78A1 and yeast P450 reductase were found to catalyze 12-monooxygenation of lauric acid. Based on these results, CYP78A1 preferentially expressed in developing inflorescences of Zea mays appeared to have participated in the monooxygenation of fatty acids.

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