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Plant Physiol. 1996 Nov;112(3):1127-34.

Cloning of an enzyme that synthesizes a key nucleotide-sugar precursor of hemicellulose biosynthesis from soybean: UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.

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Universit├Ąt Kaiserslautern, Germany.


Hemicellulose is a major component of primary plant cell walls. Many of the glycosyl residues found in hemicellulose are derived from the sugar precursor UDP-glucuronic acid, which can be converted into UDP-arabinose, UDP-apiose, UDP-galacturonic acid, and UDP-xylose. The enzyme controlling the biosynthesis of UDP-glucuronic acid, UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (EC, was cloned from soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) by an antibody screening procedure. This enzyme is surprisingly homologous to the bovine sequence, which is the only other eukaryotic UDP-glucose dehydrogenase sequence known. The characteristic motifs of the enzyme, the catalytic center, a NAD-binding site, and two proline residues for main chain bends, are conserved within the prokaryotic and eukaryotic sequences. The soybean full-length cDNA clone encodes a protein of 480 amino acids with a predicted size of 52.9 kD. The enzyme is highly expressed in young roots, but lower expression levels were observed in expanding tissues of the epicotyl and in young leaves. The expression pattern of the enzyme in different developmental stages strengthens the argument that UDP-glucose dehydrogenase is a key regulator for the availability of hemicellulose precursors.

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