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Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 May;53(5):869-78. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs030. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Functional interaction between plastidial starch phosphorylase and starch branching enzymes from rice during the synthesis of branched maltodextrins.

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Akita Prefectural University, Akita-City 010-0195, Japan.


The present study established the way in which plastidial α-glucan phosphorylase (Pho1) synthesizes maltodextrin (MD) which can be the primer for starch biosynthesis in rice endosperm. The synthesis of MD by Pho1 was markedly accelerated by branching enzyme (BE) isozymes, although the greatest effect was exhibited by the presence of branching isozyme I (BEI) rather than by isozyme IIa (BEIIa) or isozyme IIb (BEIIb). The enhancement of the activity of Pho1 by BE was not merely due to the supply of a non-reducing ends. At the same time, Pho1 greatly enhanced the BE activity, possibly by generating a branched carbohydrate substrate which is used by BE with a higher affinity. The addition of isoamylase to the reaction mixture did not prevent the concerted action of Pho1 and BEI. Furthermore, in the product, the branched structure was, at least to some extent, maintained. Based on these results we propose that the interaction between Pho1 and BE is not merely due to chain-elongating and chain-branching reactions, but occurs in a physically and catalytically synergistic manner by each activating the mutual capacity of the other, presumably forming a physical association of Pho1, BEI and branched MDs. This close interaction might play a crucial role in the synthesis of branched MDs and the branched MDs can act as a primer for the biosynthesis of amylopectin molecules.

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