Plants contain a large number of proteins homologous to isoflavone reductase, an NADPH-dependent reductase involved in the biosynthesis of isoflavonoid phytoalexins in legumes. Although some are bona fide isoflavone reductases, others may catalyze distinct reductase reactions. Two tobacco genes, TP7 and A622, encoding isoflavone reductase-like proteins, had been previously identified from their unique expression patterns, but their functions were not known. We show here that TP7 is a tobacco phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductase involved in lignan biosynthesis, but that A622 is not. To gain insight into the possible function of A622, we analyzed in detail the expression patterns of the A622 gene by RNA and protein blots, immunohistochemistry, and its promoter expression in transgenic Nicotiana sylvestris roots. The A622 expression patterns were qualitatively similar to those of putrescine N-methyltransferase, the first enzyme in nicotine biosynthesis, suggesting that A622 may function in the metabolism of nicotine or related alkaloids.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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