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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Nov 9;96(23):13062-7.

Geranyl diphosphate synthase: cloning, expression, and characterization of this prenyltransferase as a heterodimer.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6340, USA.


Geranyl diphosphate synthase, which catalyzes the condensation of dimethylallyl diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate to geranyl diphosphate, the key precursor of monoterpene biosynthesis, was purified from isolated oil glands of spearmint. Peptide fragments generated from the pure proteins of 28 and 37 kDa revealed amino acid sequences that matched two cDNA clones obtained by random screening of a peppermint-oil gland cDNA library. The deduced sequences of both proteins showed some similarity to existing prenyltransferases, and both contained a plastid-targeting sequence. Expression of each cDNA individually yielded no detectable prenyltransferase activity; however, coexpression of the two together produced functional geranyl diphosphate synthase. Antibodies raised against each protein were used to demonstrate that both subunits were required to produce catalytically active native and recombinant enzymes, thus confirming that geranyl diphosphate synthase is a heterodimer.

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