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Planta. 2011 Aug;234(2):305-20. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1400-5. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Substrate promiscuity of a rosmarinic acid synthase from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia L.).

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Biotechnology of Natural Products, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Liesel-Beckmann-Str. 1, 85354, Freising, Germany.


One of the most common types of modification of secondary metabolites is the acylation of oxygen- and nitrogen-containing substrates to produce esters and amides, respectively. Among the known acyltransferases, the members of the plant BAHD family are capable of acylating a wide variety of substrates. Two full-length acyltransferase cDNAs (LaAT1 and 2) were isolated from lavender flowers (Lavandula angustifolia L.) by reverse transcriptase-PCR using degenerate primers based on BAHD sequences. Recombinant LaAT1 exhibited a broad substrate tolerance accepting (hydroxy)cinnamoyl-CoAs as acyl donors and not only tyramine, tryptamine, phenylethylamine and anthranilic acid but also shikimic acid and 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid as acceptors. Thus, LaLT1 forms esters and amides like its phylogenetic neighbors. In planta LaAT1 might be involved in the biosynthesis of rosmarinic acid, the ester of caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid, a major constituent of lavender flowers. LaAT2 is one of three members of clade VI with unknown function.

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