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.
Polygonum minus (syn. Persicaria minor) is a herbal plant that is well known for producing sesquiterpenes, which contribute to its flavour and fragrance. This study describes the cloning and functional characterisation of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2, two sesquiterpene synthase genes that were identified from P. minus transcriptome data mining. The full-length sequences of the PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 genes were expressed in the E. coli pQE-2 expression vector. The sizes of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 were 1098 bp and 1967 bp, respectively, with open reading frames (ORF) of 1047 and 1695 bp and encoding polypeptides of 348 and 564 amino acids, respectively. The proteins consist of three conserved motifs, namely, Asp-rich substrate binding (DDxxD), metal binding residues (NSE/DTE), and cytoplasmic ER retention (RxR), as well as the terpene synthase family N-terminal domain and C-terminal metal-binding domain. From the in vitro enzyme assays, using the farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) substrate, the PmSTPS1 enzyme produced multiple acyclic sesquiterpenes of β-farnesene, α-farnesene, and farnesol, while the PmSTPS2 enzyme produced an additional nerolidol as a final product. The results confirmed the roles of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 in the biosynthesis pathway of P. minus, to produce aromatic sesquiterpenes.
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.
Polygonum minus is an aromatic plant, which contains high abundance of terpenoids, especially the sesquiterpenes C15H24. Sesquiterpenes were believed to contribute to the many useful biological properties in plants. This study aimed to functionally characterize a full length sesquiterpene synthase gene from P. minus. P. minus sesquiterpene synthase (PmSTS) has a complete open reading frame (ORF) of 1689 base pairs encoding a 562 amino acid protein. Similar to other sesquiterpene synthases, PmSTS has two large domains: the N-terminal domain and the C-terminal metal-binding domain. It also consists of three conserved motifs: the DDXXD, NSE/DTE, and RXR. A three-dimensional protein model for PmSTS built clearly distinguished the two main domains, where conserved motifs were highlighted. We also constructed a phylogenetic tree, which showed that PmSTS belongs to the angiosperm sesquiterpene synthase subfamily Tps-a. To examine the function of PmSTS, we expressed this gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. Two transgenic lines, designated as OE3 and OE7, were further characterized, both molecularly and functionally. The transgenic plants demonstrated smaller basal rosette leaves, shorter and fewer flowering stems, and fewer seeds compared to wild type plants. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the transgenic plants showed that PmSTS was responsible for the production of β -sesquiphellandrene.
NADP(+)-dependent geraniol dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206) is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of geraniol to geranial. Stable, highly active cell-free extract was obtained from Polygonum minus leaves using polyvinylpolypyrrolidone, Amberlite XAD-4, glycerol, 2-mercaptoethanol, thiourea, and phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride in tricine-NaOH buffer (pH 7.5). The enzyme preparation was separated into two activity peaks, geraniol-DH I and II, by DEAE-Toyopearl 650M column chromatography at pH 7.5. Both isoenzymes were purified to homogeneity in three chromatographic steps. The geraniol-DH isoenzymes were similar in molecular mass, optimal temperature, and pH, but the isoelectric point, substrate specificity, and kinetic parameters were different. The K(m) values for geraniol of geraniol-DH I and II appeared to be 0.4 mM and 0.185 mM respectively. P. minus geraniol-DHs are unusual among geraniol-DHs in view of their thermal stability and optimal temperatures, and also their high specificity for allylic alcohols and NADP(+).