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Phytochemistry. 2000 May;54(2):121-38.

Plant aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylases: evolution, biochemistry, regulation, and metabolic engineering applications.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Alta., Canada. pfacchin@ucalgary.ca

Abstract

A comprehensive survey of the extensive literature relevant to the evolution, physiology, biochemistry, regulation, and genetic engineering applications of plant aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylases (AADCs) is presented. AADCs catalyze the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent decarboxylation of select aromatic L-amino acids in plants, mammals, and insects. Two plant AADCs, L-tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC) and L-tyrosine decarboxylase (TYDC), have attracted considerable attention because of their role in the biosynthesis of pharmaceutically important monoterpenoid indole alkaloids and benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, respectively. Although plant and animal AADCs share extensive amino acid homology, the enzymes display striking differences in their substrate specificities. AADCs from mammals and insects accept a broad range of aromatic L-amino acids, whereas TDC and TYDC from plants exhibit exclusive substrate specificity for L-amino acids with either indole or phenol side chains, but not both. Recent biochemical and kinetic studies on animal AADCs support basic features of the classic AADC reaction mechanism. The catalytic mechanism involves the formation of a Schiff base between PLP and an invariable lysine residue, followed by a transaldimination reaction with an aromatic L-amino acid substrate. Both TDC and TYDC are primarily regulated at the transcriptional level by developmental and environmental factors. However, the putative post-translational regulation of TDC via the ubiquitin pathway, by an ATP-dependent proteolytic process, has also been suggested. Isolated TDC and TYDC genes have been used to genetically alter the regulation of secondary metabolic pathways derived from aromatic amino acids in several plant species. The metabolic modifications include increased serotonin levels, reduced indole glucosinolate levels, redirected shikimate metabolism, increased indole alkaloid levels, and increased cell wall-bound tyramine levels.

PMID:
10872203
DOI:
10.1016/s0031-9422(00)00050-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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