First isolation of an isoprene synthase gene from poplar and successful expression of the gene in Escherichia coli
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For the first time, the complete functional gene for isoprene synthase has been isolated from poplar (Populus alba × Populus tremula). The gene was quite similar to known limonene and other monoterpene synthases, but was found to specifically catalyze the formation of isoprene from the precursor dimethylallyl diphosphate with only a marginal activity for the formation of the monoterpene limonene from geranyl diphosphate as compared with limonene synthases. Omitting the part of the gene that putatively encoded the signal peptide necessary for transport into the chloroplast led to an enhanced rate of isoprene formation by the recombinant protein.
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