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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Jun;97(12):5275-82. doi: 10.1007/s00253-013-4844-7. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Regioselective synthesis of flavonoid bisglycosides using Escherichia coli harboring two glycosyltransferases.

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Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bio/Molecular Informatics Center, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-Dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, South Korea.


Regioselective glycosylation of flavonoids cannot be easily achieved due to the presence of several hydroxyl groups in flavonoids. This hurdle could be overcome by employing uridine diphosphate-dependent glycosyltransferases (UGTs), which use nucleotide sugars as sugar donors and diverse compounds including flavonoids as sugar acceptors. Quercetin rhamnosides contain antiviral activity. Two quercetin diglycosides, quercetin 3-O-glucoside-7-O-rhamnoside and quercetin 3,7-O-bisrhamnoside, were synthesized using Escherichia coli expressing two UGTs. For the synthesis of quercetin 3-O-glucoside-7-O-rhamnoside, AtUGT78D2, which transfers glucose from UDP-glucose to the 3-hydroxyl group of quercetin, and AtUGT89C1, which transfers rhamnose from UDP-rhamnose to the 7-hydroxyl group of quercetin 3-O-glucoside, were transformed into E. coli. Using this approach, 67 mg/L of quercetin 3-O-glucoside-7-O-rhamnoside was synthesized. For the synthesis of quercetin 3,7-O-bisrhamnoside, AtUGT78D1, which transfers rhamnose to the 3-hydroxy group of quercetin, and AtUGT89C1 were used. The RHM2 gene from Arabidopsis thaliana was coexpressed to supply the sugar donor, UDP-rhamnose. E. coli expressing AtUGT78D1, AtUGT89C1, and RHM2 was used to obtain 67.4 mg/L of quercetin 3,7-O-bisrhamnoside.

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