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Planta. 2008 Sep;228(4):663-74. doi: 10.1007/s00425-008-0768-3. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

The role of UDP-glucose:hydroxycinnamate glucosyltransferases in phenylpropanoid metabolism and the response to UV-B radiation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Department of Secondary Metabolism, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Weinberg 3, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.


Arabidopsis harbors four UDP-glycosyltransferases that convert hydroxycinnamates (HCAs) to 1-O-beta-glucose esters, UGT84A1 (encoded by At4g15480), UGT84A2 (At3g21560), UGT84A3 (At4g15490), and UGT84A4 (At4g15500). To elucidate the role of the individual UGT84A enzymes in planta we analyzed gene expression, UGT activities and accumulation of phenylpropanoids in Arabidopsis wild type plants, ugt mutants and overexpressing lines. Individual ugt84A null alleles did not significantly reduce the gross metabolic flux to the accumulating compounds sinapoylcholine (sinapine) in seeds and sinapoylmalate in leaves. For the ugt84A2 mutant, LC/MS analysis revealed minor qualitative and quantitative changes of several HCA choline esters and of disinapoylspermidine in seeds. Overexpression of individual UGT84A genes caused increased enzyme activities but failed to produce significant changes in the pattern of accumulating HCA esters. For UGT84A3, our data tentatively suggest an impact on cell wall-associated 4-coumarate. Exposure of plants to enhanced UV-B radiation induced the UGT84A-encoding genes and led to a transient increase in sinapoylglucose and sinapoylmalate concentrations.

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