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Plant Cell. 2004 Feb;16(2):544-54. Epub 2004 Jan 16.

The Arabidopsis thaliana REDUCED EPIDERMAL FLUORESCENCE1 gene encodes an aldehyde dehydrogenase involved in ferulic acid and sinapic acid biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.

Abstract

Recent research has significantly advanced our understanding of the phenylpropanoid pathway but has left in doubt the pathway by which sinapic acid is synthesized in plants. The reduced epidermal fluorescence1 (ref1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana accumulates only 10 to 30% of the sinapate esters found in wild-type plants. Positional cloning of the REF1 gene revealed that it encodes an aldehyde dehydrogenase, a member of a large class of NADP(+)-dependent enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids. Consistent with this finding, extracts of ref1 leaves exhibit low sinapaldehyde dehydrogenase activity. These data indicate that REF1 encodes a sinapaldehyde dehydrogenase required for sinapic acid and sinapate ester biosynthesis. When expressed in Escherichia coli, REF1 was found to exhibit both sinapaldehyde and coniferaldehyde dehydrogenase activity, and further phenotypic analysis of ref1 mutant plants showed that they contain less cell wall-esterified ferulic acid. These findings suggest that both ferulic acid and sinapic acid are derived, at least in part, through oxidation of coniferaldehyde and sinapaldehyde. This route is directly opposite to the traditional representation of phenylpropanoid metabolism in which hydroxycinnamic acids are instead precursors of their corresponding aldehydes.

PMID:
14729911
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC341923
Free PMC Article
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