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Plant Physiol. 2011 Sep;157(1):454-63. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.178822. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

A peroxygenase pathway involved in the biosynthesis of epoxy fatty acids in oat.

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Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5A8.


While oat (Avena sativa) has long been known to produce epoxy fatty acids in seeds, synthesized by a peroxygenase pathway, the gene encoding the peroxygenase remains to be determined. Here we report identification of a peroxygenase cDNA AsPXG1 from developing seeds of oat. AsPXG1 is a small protein with 249 amino acids in length and contains conserved heme-binding residues and a calcium-binding motif. When expressed in Pichia pastoris and Escherichia coli, AsPXG1 catalyzes the strictly hydroperoxide-dependent epoxidation of unsaturated fatty acids. It prefers hydroperoxy-trienoic acids over hydroperoxy-dienoic acids as oxygen donors to oxidize a wide range of unsaturated fatty acids with cis double bonds. Oleic acid is the most preferred substrate. The acyl carrier substrate specificity assay showed phospholipid and acyl-CoA were not effective substrate forms for AsPXG1 and it could only use free fatty acid or fatty acid methyl esters as substrates. A second gene, AsLOX2, cloned from oat codes for a 9-lipoxygenase catalyzing the synthesis of 9-hydroperoxy-dienoic and 9-hydroperoxy-trienoic acids, respectively, when linoleic (18:2-9c,12c) and linolenic (18:3-9c,12c,15c) acids were used as substrates. The peroxygenase pathway was reconstituted in vitro using a mixture of AsPXG1 and AsLOX2 extracts from E. coli. Incubation of methyl oleate and linoleic acid or linolenic acid with the enzyme mixture produced methyl 9,10-epoxy stearate. Incubation of linoleic acid alone with a mixture of AsPXG1 and AsLOX2 produced two major epoxy fatty acids, 9,10-epoxy-12-cis-octadecenoic acid and 12,13-epoxy-9-cis-octadecenoic acid, and a minor epoxy fatty acid, probably 12,13-epoxy-9-hydroxy-10-transoctadecenoic acid. AsPXG1 predominately catalyzes intermolecular peroxygenation.

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