Morus alba is an important medicinal plant that is used to treat human diseases. The leaf, branch, and root of Morus can be applied as antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory medicines, respectively. To explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the various pharmacological functions within different parts of Morus, organ-specific proteomics were performed. Protein profiles of the Morus leaf, branch, and root were determined using a gel-free/label-free proteomic technique. In the Morus leaf, branch, and root, a total of 492, 414, and 355 proteins were identified, respectively, including 84 common proteins. In leaf, the main function was related to protein degradation, photosynthesis, and redox ascorbate/glutathione metabolism. In branch, the main function was related to protein synthesis/degradation, stress, and redox ascorbate/glutathione metabolism. In root, the main function was related to protein synthesis/degradation, stress, and cell wall. Additionally, organ-specific metabolites and antioxidant activities were analyzed. These results revealed that flavonoids were highly accumulated in Morus root compared with the branch and leaf. Accordingly, two root-specific proteins named chalcone flavanone isomerase and flavonoid 3,5-hydroxylase were accumulated in the flavonoid pathway. Consistent with this finding, the content of the total flavonoids was higher in root compared to those detected in branch and leaf. These results suggest that the flavonoids in Morus root might be responsible for its biological activity and the root is the main part for flavonoid biosynthesis in Morus.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.