Camptotheca acuminata is a Chinese tree that produces the anti-cancer monoterpenoid indole alkaloid camptothecin (CPT). 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A synthase (HMGS) catalyzes the condensation of acetyl CoA and acetoacetyl CoA to form 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA as an early step in the CPT biosynthetic pathway. A full-length cDNA encoding HMGS (designated as CaHMGS, GenBank accession no. EU677841) was successfully isolated from young leaves of C. acuminata by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The full-length cDNA of CaHMGS was 1801 bp long and contained a 1413-bp open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 471 amino acids. Comparative and bioinformatic analyses revealed that CaHMGS showed extensive homology with HMGSs from other plant species. Southern hybridization analysis showed that there were at least two HMGS gene members in the C. acuminata genome. CPT content was found to be much higher in cotyledons and hypocotyls as compared to roots. RT-PCR analysis revealed strong expression in hypocotyls and cotyledons, but no expression in roots, indicating good correlation between CaHMGS expression and CPT content in the tested tissues. The expression of CaHMGS could be regulated by exogenous elicitors, including salicylic acid and methyl jasmonate, suggesting that CaHMGS was elicitor-responsive. This work is a first step to acquire a better understanding on the role of HMGS in CPT biosynthesis.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 28, 2012
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