Molecular cloning of two genes encoding cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H) from oilseed rape (Brassica napus)

An-He Chen, You-Rong Chai, Jia-Na Li, Li Chen
Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2007 March 31, 40 (2): 247-60
Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H) is a key enzyme of phenylpropanoid pathway, which synthesizes numerous secondary metabolites to participate in development and adaption. Two C4H isoforms, the 2192-bp BnC4H-1 and 2108-bp BnC4H-2, were cloned from oilseed rape (Brassica napus). They both have two introns and a 1518-bp open reading frame encoding a 505-amino-acid polypeptide. BnC4H-1 is 57.73 kDa with an isoelectric point of 9.11, while 57.75 kDa and 9.13 for BnC4H-2. They share only 80.6% identities on nucleotide level but 96.6% identities and 98.4% positives on protein level. Showing highest homologies to Arabidopsis thaliana C4H, they possess a conserved p450 domain and all P450-featured motifs, and are identical to typical C4Hs at substrate-recognition sites and active site residues. They are most probably associated with endoplasmic reticulum by one or both of the N- and C-terminal transmembrane helices. Phosphorylation may be a necessary post-translational modification. Their secondary structures are dominated by alpha helices and random coils. Most helices locate in the central region, while extended strands mainly distribute before and after this region. Southern blot indicated about 9 or more C4H paralogs in B. napus. In hypocotyl, cotyledon, stem, flower, bud, young- and middle-stage seed, they are co-dominantly expressed. In root and old seed, BnC4H-2 is dominant over BnC4H-1, with a reverse trend in leaf and pericarp. Paralogous C4H numbers in Brassicaceae genomes and possible roles of conserved motifs in 5' UTR and the 2nd intron are discussed.

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