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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Feb 28;1580(2-3):95-109.

Characterization of cDNAs encoding diacylglycerol acyltransferase from cultures of Brassica napus and sucrose-mediated induction of enzyme biosynthesis.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, T1K 3M4, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.


cDNAs encoding acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT, EC, designated BnDGAT1 and BnDGAT2, were obtained from a microspore-derived cell suspension culture of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L. cv Jet Neuf). BnDGAT2 shares a very high level of identity with BnDGAT1, but is a smaller protein lacking the relatively hydrophilic N-terminal segment found in BnDGAT1. Both transcripts were produced in the cell suspension cultures and the cDNAs were functionally expressed in transformed yeast (Pichia pastoris) cells. Sucrose-mediated changes in triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism and expression of BnDGAT1 were examined in the cell suspension cultures following transfer of cells from media containing 6% (w/v) sucrose to media containing 14% sucrose. TAG content and DGAT activity of the cells increased transiently within the first 12 h after transfer (HAT). The rapid decline in TAG content observed at 12 HAT was inversely related to an increase in TAG lipase (EC activity. The transient increases in TAG content and DGAT activity correlated with the elevated amounts of BnDGAT1 polypeptide. Transcript levels were also induced, but levels of mRNA encoding BnDGAT1 were not tightly correlated with DGAT activity and amount of polypeptide suggesting some control of expression at the post-transcriptional level. In general, the rapid changes in TAG content were closely associated with the changes in the activity of TAG-metabolizing enzymes and expression of BnDGAT1.

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