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FEBS Lett. 2003 Jan 16;534(1-3):75-81.

Isolation of a new dual-functional caffeine synthase gene encoding an enzyme for the conversion of 7-methylxanthine to caffeine from coffee (Coffea arabica L.).

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Institute of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.


In coffee and tea plants, caffeine is synthesized from xanthosine via a pathway that includes three methylation steps. We report the isolation of a bifunctional coffee caffeine synthase (CCS1) clone from coffee endosperm by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) technique using previously reported sequence information for theobromine synthases (CTSs). The predicted amino acid sequences of CCS1 are more than 80% identical to CTSs and are about 40% similar to those of tea caffeine synthase (TCS1). Interestingly, CCS1 has dual methylation activity like tea TCS1.

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