Cyanide Metabolism in Higher Plants: Cyanoalanine Hydratase is a NIT4 Homolog

Cyanide Metabolism in Higher Plants: Cyanoalanine Hydratase is a NIT4 Homolog Cyanoalanine hydratase (E.C. is an enzyme involved in the cyanide detoxification pathway of higher plants and catalyzes the hydrolysis of β-cyano-l-alanine to asparagine. We have isolated the enzyme from seedlings of blue lupine (Lupinus angustifolius) to obtain protein sequence information for molecular cloning. In contrast to earlier reports, extracts of blue lupine cotyledons were found also to contain cyanoalanine-nitrilase (E.C. activity, resulting in aspartic acid production. Both activities co-elute during isolation of cyanoalanine hydratase and are co-precipitated by an antibody directed against Arabidopsis thaliana nitrilase 4 (NIT4). The isolated cyanoalanine hydratase was sequenced by nanospray-MS/MS and shown to be a homolog of Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum NIT4. Full-length cDNA sequences for two NIT4 homologs from blue lupine were obtained by PCR using degenerate primers and RACE-experiments. The recombinant LaNIT4 enzymes, like Arabidopsis NIT4, hydrolyze cyanoalanine to asparagine and aspartic acid but show a much higher cyanoalanine-hydratase activity. The two nitrilase genes displayed differential but overlapping expression. Taken together these data show that the so-called ‘cyanoalanine hydratase’ of plants is not a bacterial type nitrile hydratase enzyme but a nitrilase enzyme which can have a remarkably high nitrile-hydratase activity. Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals

Cyanide Metabolism in Higher Plants: Cyanoalanine Hydratase is a NIT4 Homolog

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2006 by Springer
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Sciences; Plant Pathology
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