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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jan 13;230(2):381-5.

Cloning and functional expression in yeast of a cDNA coding for an obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase (CYP51) in wheat.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Enzymology, Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, CNRS UPR 406, Strasbourg, France.


Screening of a wheat cDNA library with an heterologous CYP81B1 probe from Helianthus tuberosus led to the isolation of a partial cDNA coding a protein with all the characteristics of a typical P450 with high homology (32-39% identity) to the fungal and mammalian CYP51s. Extensive screening of several wheat cDNA libraries isolated a longer cDNA (W516) coding a peptide of 453 amino acids. Alignment of W516 with other P450 sequences revealed that it was missing a segment corresponding to the N-terminal membrane anchor of the protein. The corresponding segment from the yeast lanosterol 14alpha-demethylase was linked to the partial wheat cDNA and the chimera expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Compared to microsomes from control yeasts, membranes of yeast expressing the chimera catalysed 14alpha-demethylation of obtusifoliol with an increased efficiency relative to lanosterol demethylase activity. W516 is thus a plant member of the most ancient and conserved P450 family, CYP51.

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