American Chemical Society
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Functional Analysis of an Uridine Diphosphate Glycosyltransferase Involved in the Biosynthesis of Polyphenolic Glucoside in Tea Plants (Camellia sinensis)

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-21, 00:00 authored by Xuecheng Zhao, Xinlong Dai, Liping Gao, Lina Guo, Juhua Zhuang, Yajun Liu, Xiubing Ma, Rui Wang, Tao Xia, Yunsheng Wang
Polyphenols are one of the largest groups of compounds that confer benefits to the health of plants and humans. Flavonol glycosides are a major ingredient of polyphenols in Camellia sinensis. Flavonol-3-O-glycosides are characteristic astringent taste compounds in tea infusion. A polyphenolic glycosyltransferase (CsUGT72AM1) belonging to cluster IIIb was isolated from the tea plant. The full-length cDNA of CsUGT72AM1 is 1416 bp. It encodes 472 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 50.92 kDa and an isoelectric point of 5.21. The recombinant CsUGT72AM1 protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and exhibited catalytic activity toward multiple flavonoids and coniferyl aldehyde. The enzyme assay indicated that rCsUGT72AM1 could perform glycosidation of flavonols or coniferyl aldehyde in vitro to form 3-O-glucoside or 4-O-glucoside, respectively. Interestingly, this enzyme also had activities and performed multisite glycosidation toward flavanones. The consistent products were confirmed to be naringenin-7-O-glucoside and -4′-O-glucoside by the nuclear magnetism assay. In addition, in the enzyme assay with cyanidin as the substrate, the results suggested that the glycosylated activity of CsUGT72AM1 was remarkably inhibited by a high concentration of anthocyanins. The above results indicate that CsUGT72AM1 may be involved in the metabolism of flavonol, flavanone, anthocyanin, and lignin.