A cysteine in the repetitive domain of a high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit interferes with the mixing properties of wheat dough
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The quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) for making bread is largely due to the strength and extensibility of wheat dough, which in turn is due to the properties of polymeric glutenin. Polymeric glutenin consists of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin protein subunits linked by disulphide bonds between cysteine residues. Glutenin subunits differ in their effects on dough mixing properties. The research presented here investigated the effect of a specific, recently discovered, glutenin subunit on dough mixing properties. This subunit, Bx7.1, is unusual in that it has a cysteine in its repetitive domain. With site-directed mutagenesis of the gene encoding Bx7.1, a guanine in the repetitive domain was replaced by an adenine, to provide a mutant gene encoding a subunit (MutBx7.1) in which the repetitive-domain cysteine was replaced by a tyrosine residue. Bx7.1, MutBx7.1 and other Bx-type glutenin subunits were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. This made it possible to incorporate each individual subunit into wheat flour and evaluate the effect of the cysteine residue on dough properties. The Bx7.1 subunit affected dough mixing properties differently from the other subunits. These differences are due to the extra cysteine residue, which may interfere with glutenin polymerisation through cross-linkage within the Bx7.1 subunit, causing this subunit to act as a chain terminator.
KeywordsCysteine Dough properties Glutenin polymerisation High-molecular-weight glutenin Site-directed mutagenesis Wheat
The authors thank Mr Ibrahim Kutty for assistance in the operation of the z-arm mixer and 10-g mixograph system, and the China Scholarship Council and the University of Adelaide for a scholarship awarded to the first author.
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