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J Biol Chem. 1994 Nov 4;269(44):27519-26.

delta 6 Hexadecenoic acid is synthesized by the activity of a soluble delta 6 palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase in Thunbergia alata endosperm.

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  • 1Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.

Abstract

delta 6 Hexadecenoic acid (16:1 delta 6) composes more than 80% of the seed oil of Thunbergia alata. Studies were conducted to determine the biosynthetic origin of the double bond of this unusual fatty acid. Assays of fractions of developing T. alata seed endosperm with [1-14C]palmitoyl (16:0)-acyl carrier protein (ACP) revealed the presence of a soluble delta 6 desaturase activity. This activity was greatest when 16:0-ACP was provided as a substrate, whereas no desaturation of the coenzyme A ester of this fatty acid was detected. In addition, delta 6 16:0-ACP desaturase activity in T. alata endosperm extracts was dependent on the presence of ferredoxin and molecular oxygen and was stimulated by catalase. To further characterize this enzyme, a cDNA encoding a diverged acyl-ACP desaturase was isolated from a T. alata endosperm cDNA library using polymerase chain reaction with degenerate oligonucleotides corresponding to conserved amino acid sequences in delta 9 stearoyl (18:0)- and delta 4 16:0-ACP desaturases. The primary structure of the mature peptide encoded by this cDNA shares 66% identity with the mature castor delta 9 18:0-ACP desaturase and 57% identity with the mature coriander delta 4 16:0-ACP desaturase. Extracts of Escherichia coli that express the T. alata cDNA catalyzed the delta 6 desaturation of 16:0-ACP. These results demonstrate that 16:1 delta 6 in T. alata endosperm is formed by the activity of a soluble delta 6 16:0-ACP desaturase that is structurally related to the delta 9 18:0- and delta 4 16:0-ACP desaturases. Implications of this work to an understanding of active site structures of acyl-ACP desaturases are discussed.

PMID:
7961667
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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