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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular cloning and functional expression of triterpene synthases from pea (Pisum sativum) new alpha-amyrin-producing enzyme is a multifunctional triterpene synthase.

Ursane type triterpene is one of the most widespread triterpene aglycones found in plants, together with oleanane type, and these two types often occur together in the same plant. Pisum sativum is known to produce both types of triterpenes. Homology based PCRs with degenerate primers designed from the conserved sequences found in the known beta-amyrin synthases have resulted in cloning of two triterpene synthase cDNAs from immature seeds of P. sativum. They show high sequence identities to each other (78%) and also to the known beta-amyrin synthases (70-90%). ORFs of the full-length clones named as PSY (2277 bp, codes for 759 amino acids) and PSM (2295 bp, codes for 765 amino acids) were ligated into the yeast expression vector pYES2 under the control of GAL1 promoter. Heterologous expression in yeast revealed PSY to be a P. sativum beta-amyrin synthase. Surprisingly, however, PSM turned out to be a novel mixed amyrin synthase producing both alpha- and beta-amyrin. Several minor triterpenes were also identified as the PSM byproducts. The presence of such multifunctional triterpene synthase would account for the co-occurence of ursane and oleanane type triterpenes in plants.[1]


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