Biosynthesis and metabolic engineering of glucosinolates
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Glucosinolates are amino acid-derived natural plant products found throughout the Capparales order. Glucosinolates and their degradation products have a wide range of biological activities, e.g. in plant defense as deterrents against insect and fungi. The conversion of amino acids to aldoximes is a key step in glucosinolate biosynthesis. This step is catalyzed by cytochromes P450 from the CYP79 family. The post-aldoxime enzymes in the glucosinolate pathway have high substrate-specificity for the functional group and low substrate-specificity for the side chain. Therefore, we have been able to metabolically engineer new glucosinolate profiles into Arabidopsis by altering the levels of endogenous CYP79s and by introducing exogenous CYP79s. The approach has great potential for design of metabolically engineered plants with improved pest resistance and increased nutritional value.
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