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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jun 3;584(11):2258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.03.037. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Identification and characterization of glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of soyasaponin I in Glycine max.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Triterpene saponins are a diverse group of compounds with a structure consisting of a triterpene aglycone and sugars. Identification of the sugar-transferase involved in triterpene saponin biosynthesis is difficult due to the structural complexity of triterpene saponin. Two glycosyltransferases from Glycine max, designated as GmSGT2 and GmSGT3, were identified and characterized. In vitro analysis revealed that GmSGT2 transfers a galactosyl group from UDP-galactose to soyasapogenol B monoglucuronide, and that GmSGT3 transfers a rhamnosyl group from UDP-rhamnose to soyasaponin III. These results suggest that soyasaponin I is biosynthesized from soyasapogenol B by successive sugar transfer reactions.

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