, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 895-909

cDNA cloning and expression of Brassica napus enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase in Escherichia coli

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Abstract

The onset of storage lipid biosynthesis during seed development in the oilseed crop Brassica napus (rape seed) coincides with a drastic qualitative and quantitative change in fatty acid composition. During this phase of storage lipid biosynthesis, the enzyme activities of the individual components of the fatty acid synthase system increase rapidly. We describe a rapid and simple purification procedure for the plastidlocalized NADH-dependent enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase from developing B. napus seed, based on its affinity towards the acyl carrier protein (ACP). The purified protein was N-terminally sequenced and used to raise a potent antibody preparation. Immuno-screening of a seed-specific λgt11 cDNA expression library resulted in the isolation of enoyl-ACP reductase cDNA clones. DNA sequence analysis of an apparently full-length cDNA clone revealed that the enoyl-ACP reductase mRNA is translated into a precursor protein with a putative 73 amino acid leader sequence which is removed during the translocation of the protein through the plastid membrane. Expression studies in Escherichia coli demonstrated that the full-length cDNA clone encodes the authentic B. napus NADH-dependent enoyl-ACP reductase. Characterization of the enoyl-ACP reductase genes by Southern blotting shows that the allo-tetraploid B. napus contains two pairs of related enoyl-ACP reductase genes derived from the two distinct genes found in both its ancestors, Brassica oleracea and B. campestris. Northern blot analysis of enoyl-ACP reductase mRNA steady-state levels during seed development suggests that the increase in enzyme activity during the phase of storage lipid accumulation is regulated at the level of gene expression.