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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 May 13;57(9):3512-8. doi: 10.1021/jf900146a.

A double mutation in the anthocyanin 5-O-glucosyltransferase gene disrupts enzymatic activity in Vitis vinifera L.

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  • 1Biomolecular Food Technology, Technische Universität München, Hochfeldweg 1, 85354 Freising, Germany.


The inability of most European grapevines ( Vitis vinifera ) to produce 3,5-di-O-glucosides of anthocyanidin-3-O-glucosides while in other Vitis species diglucosides are found has long been used as a diagnostic tool for the classification of wines according to their varietal origin. A functional 5-O-glucosyltransferase (5GT) gene and its nonfunctional allele were recently cloned from the heterozygous hybrid cultivar 'Regent'. Protein sequence comparison revealed only five amino acid substitutions and a truncation at the C-terminus in the inactive enzyme. Restoration of the C-terminus in the European allele alone proved to be insufficient for a reversal to a functional allele. An additional V121L transition located in close spatial vicinity of the catalytically active histidine in the active site of the nonfunctional protein was also essential to recover 5GT activity. Thus, two mutations render the 5GT inactive in V. vinifera and explain why revertants for this mutant allele have not been observed in breeding programs. The results have a significant effect on the classification and breeding of Vitis varieties and the evaluation of derived products.

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