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Plant Mol Biol. 1998 Nov;38(5):725-34.

The presence of CYP79 homologues in glucosinolate-producing plants shows evolutionary conservation of the enzymes in the conversion of amino acid to aldoxime in the biosynthesis of cyanogenic glucosides and glucosinolates.

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Department of Plant Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.


A cDNA encoding CYP79B1 has been isolated from Sinapis alba. CYP79B1 from S. alba shows 54% sequence identity and 73% similarity to sorghum CYP79A1 and 95% sequence identity to the Arabidopsis T42902, assigned CYP79B2. The high identity and similarity to sorghum CYP79A1, which catalyses the conversion of tyrosine to p-hydroxyphenylacetaldoxime in the biosynthesis of the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin, suggests that CYP79B1 similarly catalyses the conversion of amino acid(s) to aldoxime(s) in the biosynthesis of glucosinolates. Within the highly conserved 'PERF' and the heme-binding region of A-type cytochromes, the CYP79 family has unique substitutions that define the family-specific consensus sequences of FXP(E/D)RH and SFSTG(K/R)RGC(A/I)A, respectively. Sequence analysis of PCR products generated with CYP79B subfamily-specific primers identified CYP79B homologues in Tropaeolum majus, Carica papaya, Arabidopsis, Brassica napus and S. alba. The five glucosinolate-producing plants identified a CYP79B amino acid consensus sequence KPERHLNECSEVTLTENDLRFISFSTGKRGC. The unique substitutions in the 'PERF' and the heme-binding domain and the high sequence identity and similarity of CYP79B1, CYP79B2 and CYP79A1, together with the isolation of CYP79B homologues in the distantly related Tropaeolaceae, Caricaceae and Brassicaceae within the Capparales order, show that the initial part of the biosynthetic pathway of glucosinolates and cyanogenic glucosides is catalysed by evolutionarily conserved cytochromes P450. This confirms that the appearance of glucosinolates in Capparales is based on a cyanogen 'predisposition'. Identification of CYP79 homologues in glucosinolate-producing plants provides an important tool for tissue-specific regulation of the level of glucosinolates to improve nutritional value and pest resistance.

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