, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 847–853 | Cite as

GSNOR deficiency enhances betulin production in Betula platyphylla

  • Guizhi FanEmail author
  • Tingting Nie
  • Yating Huang
  • Yaguang Zhan
Original Article


Key message

This paper showed that GSNOR mediated betulin production from genetic and pharmacological levels.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) and betulin production. Treatment of birch suspension cells with 20 μmol/L GSNOR inhibitor 3-(5-(4-(1H-imidazol-1-yl) phenyl)-1-(4-carbamoyl-2-methylphenyl)-1H-pyrrol-2-yl) propio- nic acid (N6022) markedly reduced gene expression of GSNOR, and increased at least two times in betulin content and gene expression of lupeol synthase (LUS), a key enzyme in betulin biosynthesis. GSNOR transgenic plants by RNAi silencing also lowered gene expression of GSNOR and increased betulin content and gene expression of LUS. Our study also showed that S-nitrosothiols (SNO) content increased in birch suspension cells treated with N6022 and GSNOR transgenic birch plants, about three times that in the non-transgenic birch. The above results verified that GSNOR deficiency mediated betulin production from genetic and pharmacological levels, and indicated that protein S-nitrosylation mediated plant secondary metabolite production.


Betula platyphylla GSNOR SNO Betulin 



This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2572017EA05), Heilongjiang Natural Science Foundation of China (C2016005), and Harbin Technological Innovation Special Fund research Projects (2014RFQXJ066).

Author contribution statement

Guizhi Fan and Yaguang Zhan conceived and designed the experiments. Tingting Nie and Yating Huang performed the experiments and collected the data. Yating Huang analyzed the data. Guizhi Fan wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

468_2018_1677_MOESM1_ESM.docx (170 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 170 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life ScienceNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinChina

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