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Plant Cell Physiol. 2014 Feb;55(2):436-44. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pct179. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Molecular evolution of N-methylputrescine oxidase in tobacco.

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Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 Japan.


Biosynthesis of nicotine in tobacco requires N-methylputrescine oxidase (MPO), which belongs to the copper-containing amine oxidase superfamily. Previous studies identified tobacco MPO1 and its close homolog NtDAO1 (formerly called MPO2), of which MPO1 has been shown preferentially to oxidize N-methylated amines. We show here that NtDAO1, as well as a homologous Arabidopsis diamine oxidase (DAO), accept non-N-methylated amines more efficiently than their corresponding N-methylated amines. MPO1 is coordinately regulated with other nicotine biosynthesis genes with regard to COI1-MYC2-dependent jasmonate induction and its dependence on nicotine-specific ERF transcription factors, whereas NtDAO1 is constitutively expressed at low basal levels in tobacco plants. Both MPO1 and NtDAO1 are targeted to peroxisomes by their C-terminal motifs, and the peroxisomal localization of MPO1 is required for it to function in nicotine biosynthesis in jasmonate-elicited cultured tobacco cells. Restricted occurrence of the MPO subfamily in Nicotiana and Solanum indicates that, during the formation of the Solanaceae, MPO has evolved from a DAO, which functions in polyamine catabolism within peroxisomes, by optimizing substrate preference and gene expression patterns to be suitable for alkaloid formation.


Diamine oxidase; Nicotine; Peroxisomes; Putrescine; Tobacco

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