Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 128, Issue 5, pp 849–861 | Cite as

Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of isoprene synthases from the tropical trees Ficus virgata, Ficus septica, and Casuarina equisetifolia

  • Hirosuke Oku
  • Masashi Inafuku
  • Takeshi Ishikawa
  • Tnomonori Takamine
  • Mutanda Ishmael
  • Masakazu Fukuta
Regular Paper


Three isoprene synthase (IspS) cDNA clones have been isolated from tropical trees (Ficus septica, F. virgata, and Casuarina equisetifolia), and their enzyme properties have been compared with those of Populus alba IspS. Phylogenetic analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences with known monoterpene synthase resolved IspS from F. septica and F. virgata and other IspSs in a clade together with TPS-b clade I, whereas IspS from C. equisetifolia was within another clade, sister to TPS-b clade II. The optimum reaction temperature was 40 °C for the IspSs isolated from the tropical trees, and 45 °C for P. alba IspS. The optimum pH of the IspSs from the tropical trees peaked between pH 8 and pH10 contrasting with the rather broad optimum pH (7.5–10.5) of P. alba IspS. IspSs from F. septica and F. virgata were activated solely by Mg2+, whereas IspS from C. equisetifolia was dependent more on Mn2+ than on Mg2+. Michaelis constant (Km) values of IspSs from tropical trees were lower than that of P. alba IspS. Analysis of inter fragment interaction energy of IspS-substrate complex model and crystal structure of bornyl diphosphate synthase (1N20) found that the coordination geometry of amino acids with higher attraction force is similar at the active site of C. equisetifolia IspS and bornyl diphosphate synthase. These observations suggest the occurrence of another group of IspSs in TPS-b subfamily and extend the knowledge on biochemical regulatory mechanism of isoprene emission from tropical trees.


Isoprene synthase Tropical tree Cloning Characterization Docking simulation 



The authors thank Professor Yazaki, Kyoto University for the generous provision of the P. alba IspS cDNA. The authors also thank Dr. Ryo Yanagitta for his help with the use of Autodock program and Dr. Seikoh Saitoh for the installation and operation of PAICS program. Our thanks also go to Mr. Motoi Itoh, Naeko Miyazato, Narumi Tsunoda, Shin Kedashiro for their contribution in the cloning of IspS cDNA.

Supplementary material

10265_2015_740_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (379 kb)
Fig. S1 (PDF 378 kb)
10265_2015_740_MOESM2_ESM.doc (704 kb)
Table S1 (DOC 704 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hirosuke Oku
    • 1
    • 5
  • Masashi Inafuku
    • 1
  • Takeshi Ishikawa
    • 4
  • Tnomonori Takamine
    • 2
  • Mutanda Ishmael
    • 3
  • Masakazu Fukuta
    • 2
  1. 1.Tropical Biosphere Research CenterUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan
  3. 3.United Graduate School of Agricultural SciencesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  4. 4.Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesNagasakiJapan
  5. 5.Molecular Biotechnology Group, Center of Molecular BioscienceUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan

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