Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 113–124 | Cite as

High-level accumulation of recombinant miraculin protein in transgenic tomatoes expressing a synthetic miraculin gene with optimized codon usage terminated by the native miraculin terminator

  • Kyoko Hiwasa-Tanase
  • Mpanja Nyarubona
  • Tadayoshi Hirai
  • Kazuhisa Kato
  • Takanari Ichikawa
  • Hiroshi Ezura
Original Paper


In our previous study, a transgenic tomato line that expressed the MIR gene under control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and the nopaline synthase terminator (tNOS) produced the taste-modifying protein miraculin (MIR). However, the concentration of MIR in the tomatoes was lower than that in the MIR gene’s native miracle fruit. To increase MIR production, the native MIR terminator (tMIR) was used and a synthetic gene encoding MIR protein (sMIR) was designed to optimize its codon usage for tomato. Four different combinations of these genes and terminators (MIR-tNOS, MIR-tMIR, sMIR-tNOS and sMIR-tMIR) were constructed and used for transformation. The average MIR concentrations in MIR-tNOS, MIR-tMIR, sMIR-tNOS and sMIR-tMIR fruits were 131, 197, 128 and 287 μg/g fresh weight, respectively. The MIR concentrations using tMIR were higher than those using tNOS. The highest MIR accumulation was detected in sMIR-tMIR fruits. On the other hand, the MIR concentration was largely unaffected by sMIR-tNOS. The expression levels of both MIR and sMIR mRNAs terminated by tMIR tended to be higher than those terminated by tNOS. Read-through mRNA transcripts terminated by tNOS were much longer than those terminated by tMIR. These results suggest that tMIR enhances mRNA expression and permits the multiplier effect of optimized codon usage.


Miraculin Codon optimization Miraculin terminator Transgenic tomato Read-through 







Synthesized MIR


Nopaline synthase



We thank members of the Ezura laboratory for helpful discussions. We thank Sun HJ, Uchi S and Yano M for cloning of the miraculin terminator region. This study was supported by the project “Development of Fundamental Technologies for the Production of High-value Materials Using Transgenic Plants,” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan to H.E. Micro-Tom seeds (TOMJPF00001) were provided by the Gene Research Center, University of Tsukuba, through the National BioResource Project (NBRP) of the MEXT, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoko Hiwasa-Tanase
    • 1
  • Mpanja Nyarubona
    • 1
  • Tadayoshi Hirai
    • 1
  • Kazuhisa Kato
    • 1
  • Takanari Ichikawa
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Ezura
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Scientific Senior Manager of Technology Center, Team Leader of Accreditation and Evaluation Team for the New UniversityOkinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion CorporationOnna-sonJapan

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