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Plant Mol Biol. 1994 Oct;26(2):631-42.

Purification and PCR-based cDNA cloning of a plastidial n-6 desaturase.

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Institut für Allgemeine Botanik, Universität Hamburg, Germany.


A plastidial membrane-bound n-6 desaturase from spinach (Spinacia oleracea) was purified from chloroplast envelope membranes by anion exchange, cation exchange and ferredoxin-affinity chromatography. The molecular mass of the protein was estimated by SDS-PAGE to be 40 kDa. The highest specific activity of the desaturase in the final preparation was 196 nmol/min per mg protein with free oleic acid as the substrate. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the blotted protein was determined and used for the construction of a degenerated and inosine-containing oligonucleotide primer for PCR experiments with cDNA transcribed from leaf mRNA. A 3'-RACE experiment with this primer amplified a single band of 1500 bp that after sequencing showed an open reading frame of 382 amino acids corresponding to a protein of 43 kDa. The 5' end of the cDNA was amplified by a 5'-RACE experiment and isolated as a 500 bp fragment. Sequencing of this DNA revealed an additional 65 amino acids at the N-terminus of the native protein that are attributed to a plastidial leader peptide. With appropriate primers derived from these sequences a full-length clone was amplified by PCR and sequenced. Comparison of the plastidial oleate desaturase with the homologous enzyme from cyanobacteria showed about 50% amino acid homology. Comparison with other desaturases revealed three histidine boxes with the general sequence HXXXH that are highly conserved in all membrane-bound desaturases. These boxes might be involved in metal ion complexation required for reduction of oxygen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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