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Planta. 1997;203(3):349-61.

Are the characteristics of betanidin glucosyltransferases from cell-suspension cultures of Dorotheanthus bellidiformis indicative of their phylogenetic relationship with flavonoid glucosyltransferases?

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  • 1Institut für Pflanzcnbiochemie (IPB), Abteilung Sekundärstoffwechsel, Halle, Saale, Germany.

Abstract

Uridine 5'-diphosphoglucose:betanidin 5-O- and 6-O-glucosyltransferases (5-GT and 6-GT; EC 2.4.1) catalyze the regiospecific formation of betanin (betanidin 5-O-beta-glucoside) and gomphrenin I (betanidin 6-O-beta-glucoside), respectively. Both enzymes were purified to near homogeneity from cell-suspension cultures of Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, the 5-GT by classical chromatographic techniques and the 6-GT by affinity dye-ligand chromatography using UDP-glucose as eluent. Data obtained with highly purified enzymes indicate that 5-GT and 6-GT catalyze the indiscriminate transfer of glucose from UDP-glucose to hydroxyl groups of betanidin, flavonols, anthocyanidins and flavones, but discriminate between individual hydroxyl groups of the respective acceptor compounds. The 5-GT catalyzes the transfer of glucose to the C-4' hydroxyl group of quercetin as its best substrate, and the 6-GT to the C-3 hydroxyl group of cyanidin as its best substrate. Both enzymes also catalyze the formation of the respective 7-O-glucosides, but to a minor extent. Although the enzymes were not isolated to homogeneity, chromatographic, electrophoretic and kinetic properties proved that the respective enzyme activities were based on the presence of single enzymes, i.e. 5-GT and 6-GT. The N terminus of the 6-GT revealed high sequence identity to a proposed UDP-glucose: flavonol 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UF3GT) of Manihot esculenta. In addition to the 5-GT and 6-GT, we isolated a UF3GT from D. bellidiformis cell cultures that preferentially accepted myricetin and quercetin, but was inactive with betanidin. The same result was obtained with a UF3GT from Antirrhinum majus and a flavonol 4'-O-glucosyltransferase from Allium cepa. Based on these results, the main question to be addressed reads: Are the characteristics of the 5-GT and 6-GT indicative of their phylogenetic relationship with flavonoid glucosyltransferases?

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