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Lipids. 2000 Mar;35(3):263-9.

Plant sterol-C24-methyl transferases: different profiles of tobacco transformed with SMT1 or SMT2.

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Institute de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Département Biosynthèse et Fonctions des Isoprenoïdes, Institut de Botanique, Strasbourg, France.


Higher plant cells contain a mixture of 24-desmethyl, 24-methyl(ene), and 24-ethyl(idene) sterols in given proportions according to species but also to cell type. As a first step to investigate the function of such sterol compositions in the physiology of a plant, we have illustrated in the present work the coexistence of two distinct (S)-adenosyl-L-methionine sterol-C24-methyltransferases (SMT) in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum L. Indeed, modulation of the expression of the tobacco gene SMT1-1, which encodes a cycloartenol-C24-methyltransferase, results in variations of the proportion of cycloartenol and a concomitant effect on the proportion of 24-ethyl sterols. Overexpression in tobacco of the Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. gene SMT2-1 which encodes a 24-methylene lophenol-C24(1)-methyltransferase, results in a dramatic modification of the ratio of 24-methyl cholesterol to sitosterol associated with a reduced growth, a topic discussed in the present work.

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