A burst of evolutionary duplication upon land colonization seems to have led to the large superfamily of cytochromes P450 in higher plants. Within this superfamily some clans and families are heavily duplicated. Others, such as genes involved in the phenylpropanoid pathway have led to fewer duplication events. Eight coding sequences belonging to the CYP98 family reported to catalyze the 3-hydroxylation step in this pathway were isolated from Triticum aestivum (wheat) and expressed in yeast. Comparison of the catalytic properties of the recombinant enzymes with those of CYP98s from other plant taxa was coupled to phylogenetic analyses. Our results indicate that the unusually high frequency of gene duplication in the wheat CYP98 family is a direct or indirect result from ploidization. While ancient duplication led to evolution of enzymes with different substrate preferences, most of recent duplicates underwent silencing via degenerative mutations. Three of the eight tested CYP98s from wheat have phenol meta-hydroxylase activity, with p-coumaroylshikimate being the primary substrate for all of these, as it is the case for CYP98s from sweet basil and Arabidopsis thaliana. However, CYP98s from divergent taxa have acquired different additional subsidiary activities. Some of them might be significant in the metabolism of various free or conjugated phenolics in different plant species. One of the most significant is meta-hydroxylation of p-coumaroyltyramine, predominantly by the wheat enzymes, for the synthesis of suberin phenolic monomers. Homology modeling, confirmed by directed mutagenesis, provides information on the protein regions and structural features important for some observed changes in substrate selectivity. They indicate that the metabolism of quinate ester and tyramine amide of p-coumaric acid rely on the same recognition site in the protein.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 25, 2006
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