Molecular cloning and overexpression of the tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene leads to increased rosmarinic acid yield in Perilla frutescens

Abstract

Perilla frutescens is a medicinal plant that produces various bioactive compounds, including unsaturated fatty acids and phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic acid (α-O-caffeoyl-3, 4 -dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, RA). Tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) catalyzes the first step in the tyrosine-derived branch of RA biosynthesis, and TAT is presumed to have a role in RA accumulation. Here, we report the isolation of full-length TAT cDNA (designated PfTAT) from P. frutescens. Sequence analysis revealed that PfTAT contained 1,535 bp long and an open reading frame of 1,233 bp encoding 411 amino acid residues. Analysis of PfTAT genomic DNA revealed 7 exons and 5 introns. The 5′ flanking sequence of PfTAT was also cloned, and a group of putative cis-acting elements such TATA box, CAAT box, TC-rich repeats and G box were identified. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that constitutive expression of PfTAT in leaves was much higher than in roots and stems. A vector was constructed containing the PfTAT gene derived by the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. Transgenic P. frutescens overexpressing PfTAT was obtained with an Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation system and overexpression was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot. PfTAT mRNA expression in transgenic plant lines measured by real-time quantitative PCR was 2–3 times greater than PfTAT expression in the untransformed plant line. Also, enhanced gene expression corresponded to significantly increased RA in PfTAT-transgenic lines, as quantified by HPLC. Our data emphasize the importance of PfTAT in the production of RA in P. frutescens.

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Correspondence to Xiaoling Lu.

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Lu, X., Hao, L., Wang, F. et al. Molecular cloning and overexpression of the tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene leads to increased rosmarinic acid yield in Perilla frutescens . Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 115, 69–83 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-013-0341-z

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Keywords

  • Perilla frutescens
  • PfTAT
  • cDNA cloning
  • Overexpression
  • Rosmarinic acid