, Volume 247, Issue 6, pp 1489–1498 | Cite as

Biochemical characterization of rice xylan O-acetyltransferases

  • Ruiqin Zhong
  • Dongtao Cui
  • Robert L. Dasher
  • Zheng-Hua Ye
Short Communication


Main conclusion

Rice xylan is predominantly monoacetylated at O-2 and O-3, and 14 rice DUF231 proteins were demonstrated to be xylan acetyltransferases.

Acetylated xylans are the principal hemicellulose in the cell walls of grass species. Because xylan acetylation impedes the conversion of cellulosic biomass into biofuels, knowledge on acetyltransferases catalyzing xylan acetylation in grass species will be instrumental for a better utilization of grass biomass for biofuel production. Xylan in rice (Oryza sativa) is predominantly monoacetylated at O-2 and O-3 with a total degree of acetylation of 0.19. In this report, we have characterized 14 rice DUF231 proteins (OsXOAT1 to OsXOAT14) that are phylogenetically grouped together with Arabidopsis xylan acetyltransferases ESK1 and its close homologs. Complementation analysis demonstrated that the expression of OsXOAT1 to OsXOAT7 in the Arabidopsis esk1 mutant was able to rescue its defects in 2-O- and 3-O-monoacetylation and 2,3-di-O-acetylation. Activity assay of recombinant proteins revealed that all 14 OsXOATs exhibited acetyltransferase activities capable of transferring acetyl groups from acetyl-CoA to the xylohexaose acceptor with 10 of them having high activities. Structural analysis of the OsXOAT-catalyzed products showed that the acetylated structural units consisted mainly of 2-O- and 3-O-monoacetylated xylosyl residues with a minor amount of 2,3-di-O-acetylated xylosyl units, which is consistent with the acetyl substitution pattern of rice xylan. Further kinetic studies revealed that OsXOAT1, OsXOAT2, OsXOAT5, OsXOAT6 and OsXOAT7 had high affinity toward the xylohexaose acceptor. Our results provide biochemical evidence indicating that OsXOATs are acetyltransferases involved in xylan acetylation in rice.


Acetyltransferase Cell wall DUF231 Grass Oryza sativa Xylan 



This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences [grant No. DE-FG02-03ER15415].

Supplementary material

425_2018_2882_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (26.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 27515 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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