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Plant Physiol. 2000 Aug;123(4):1545-52.

A dual function alpha-dioxygenase-peroxidase and NAD(+) oxidoreductase active enzyme from germinating pea rationalizing alpha-oxidation of fatty acids in plants.

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Institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany.


An enzyme with fatty acid alpha-oxidation activity (49 nkat mg(-1); substrate: lauric acid) was purified from germinating pea (Pisum sativum) by a five-step procedure to apparent homogeneity. The purified protein was found to be a 230-kD oligomer with two dominant subunits, i.e. a 50-kD subunit with NAD(+) oxidoreductase activity and a 70-kD subunit, homolog to a pathogen-induced oxygenase, which in turn shows significant homology to animal cyclooxygenase. On-line liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry revealed rapid alpha-oxidation of palmitic acid incubated at 0 degrees C with the purified alpha-oxidation enzyme, leading to (R)-2-hydroperoxypalmitic acid as the major product together with (R)-2-hydroxypalmitic acid, 1-pentadecanal, and pentadecanoic acid. Inherent peroxidase activity of the 70-kD fraction decreased the amount of the (R)-2-hydroperoxy product rapidly and increased the level of (R)-2-hydroxypalmitic acid. Incubations at room temperature accelerated the decline toward the chain-shortened aldehyde. With the identification of the dual function alpha-dioxygenase-peroxidase (70-kD unit) and the related NAD(+) oxidoreductase (50-kD unit) we provided novel data to rationalize all steps of the classical scheme of alpha-oxidation in plants.

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