Coniferin β-glucosidase (CBG) catalyzes the hydrolysis of monolignol glucosides to release the cinnamyl alcohols for oxidative polymerization to lignin. Utilizing the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified enzyme, the corresponding full-length cDNA sequence was isolated from a Pinus contorta xylem-specific library. The isolated 1909 nucleotide cDNA was confirmed to be that of CBG on the basis of its high homology to family 1 glycosyl hydrolases, the sequence identity with the N-terminal amino acid residues of the purified enzyme, and the coniferin hydrolytic activity and substrate specificity profile displayed by the recombinant protein when expressed in Escherichia coli. The presence of a 23 amino acid N-terminal signal peptide in the deduced 513 amino acid enzyme suggests that CBG is a secretory protein targeted to the ER. The isolation of CBG cDNA will facilitate the evaluation of the importance of this enzyme in the ultimate stages of lignin biosynthesis and could be a valuable tool in manipulating lignin levels in xylem cell walls.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004