Juvenile Hormone III is of great concern due to negative effects on major developmental and reproductive maturation in insect pests. Thus, the elucidation of enzymes involved JH III biosynthetic pathway has become increasing important in recent years. One of the enzymes in the JH III biosynthetic pathway that remains to be isolated and characterized is farnesal dehydrogenase, an enzyme responsible to catalyze the oxidation of farnesal into farnesoic acid. A novel NAD+-farnesal dehydrogenase of Polygonum minus was purified (315-fold) to apparent homogeneity in five chromatographic steps. The purification procedures included Gigacap S-Toyopearl 650M, Gigacap Q-Toyopearl 650M, and AF-Blue Toyopearl 650ML, followed by TSK Gel G3000SW chromatographies. The enzyme, with isoelectric point of 6.6 is a monomeric enzyme with a molecular mass of 70 kDa. The enzyme was relatively active at 40°C, but was rapidly inactivated above 45°C. The optimal temperature and pH of the enzyme were found to be 35°C and 9.5, respectively. The enzyme activity was inhibited by sulfhydryl agent, chelating agent, and metal ion. The enzyme was highly specific for farnesal and NAD+. Other terpene aldehydes such as trans- cinnamaldehyde, citral and α- methyl cinnamaldehyde were also oxidized but in lower activity. The Km values for farnesal, citral, trans- cinnamaldehyde, α- methyl cinnamaldehyde and NAD+ were 0.13, 0.69, 0.86, 1.28 and 0.31 mM, respectively. The putative P. minus farnesal dehydrogenase that's highly specific towards farnesal but not to aliphatic aldehydes substrates suggested that the enzyme is significantly different from other aldehyde dehydrogenases that have been reported. The MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS/MS spectrometry further identified two peptides that share similarity to those of previously reported aldehyde dehydrogenases. In conclusion, the P. minus farnesal dehydrogenase may represent a novel plant farnesal dehydrogenase that exhibits distinctive substrate specificity towards farnesal. Thus, it was suggested that this novel enzyme may be functioning specifically to oxidize farnesal in the later steps of JH III pathway. This report provides a basic understanding for recombinant production of this particular enzyme. Other strategies such as adding His-tag to the protein makes easy the purification of the protein which is completely different to the native protein. Complete sequence, structure and functional analysis of the enzyme will be important for developing insect-resistant crop plants by deployment of transgenic plant.
Juvenile hormones have attracted attention as safe and selective targets for the design and development of environmentally friendly and biorational insecticides. In the juvenile hormone III biosynthetic pathway, the enzyme farnesol dehydrogenase catalyzes the oxidation of farnesol to farnesal. In this study, farnesol dehydrogenase was extracted from Polygonum minus leaves and purified 204-fold to apparent homogeneity by ion-exchange chromatography using DEAE-Toyopearl, SP-Toyopearl, and Super-Q Toyopearl, followed by three successive purifications by gel filtration chromatography on a TSK-gel GS3000SW. The enzyme is a heterodimer comprised of subunits with molecular masses of 65 kDa and 70 kDa. The optimum temperature and pH were 35°C and pH 9.5, respectively. Activity was inhibited by sulfhydryl reagents, metal-chelating agents and heavy metal ions. The enzyme utilized both NAD+ and NADP+ as coenzymes with Km values of 0.74 mM and 40 mM, respectively. Trans, trans-farnesol was the preferred substrate for the P. minus farnesol dehydrogenase. Geometrical isomers of trans, trans-farnesol, cis, trans-farnesol and cis, cis-farnesol were also oxidized by the enzyme with lower activity. The Km values for trans, trans-farnesol, cis, trans-farnesol and cis, cis-farnesol appeared to be 0.17 mM, 0.33 mM and 0.42 mM, respectively. The amino acid sequences of 4 tryptic peptides of the enzyme were analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS spectrometry, and showed no significant similarity to those of previously reported farnesol dehydrogenases. These results suggest that the purified enzyme is a novel NAD(P)+-dependent farnesol dehydrogenase. The purification and characterization established in the current study will serve as a basis to provide new information for recombinant production of the enzyme. Therefore, recombinant farnesol dehydrogenase may provide a useful molecular tool in manipulating juvenile hormone biosynthesis to generate transgenic plants for pest control.