Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 777–789 | Cite as

Characterization and heterologous expression of hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyl-CoA:anthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferase from elicited cell cultures of carnation, Dianthus caryophyllus L.

  • Qian Yang
  • Klaus Reinhard
  • Emile Schiltz
  • Ulrich Matern


Benzoyl-CoA:anthranilate N-benzoyltransferase catalyzes the first committed reaction of phytoalexin biosynthesis in carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.), and the product N-benzoylanthranilate is the precursor of several sets of dianthramides. The transferase activity is constitutively expressed in suspension-cultured carnation cells and can be rapidly induced by the addition of yeast extract. The enzyme was purified to homogeneity from yeast-induced carnation cells and shown to consist of a single polypeptide chain of 53 kDa. Roughly 20% of the sequence was identified by micro-sequencing of tryptic peptides, and some of these sequences differed in a few amino acid residues only suggesting the presence of isoenzymes. A specific 0.8 kb cDNA probe was generated by RT-PCR, employing degenerated oligonucleotide primers complementary to two of the tryptic peptides and using poly(A)+ RNA from elicited carnation cells. Five distinct benzoyltransferase clones were isolated from a cDNA library, and three cDNAs, pchcbt1–3, were sequenced and shown to encode full-size N-benzoyltransferases. The translated peptide sequences revealed more than 95% identity among these three clones. The additional two clones harbored insert sequences mostly homologous with pchcbt1 but differing in the 3′-flanking regions due to variable usage of poly(A) addition sites. The identity of the clones was confirmed by matching the translated polypeptides with the tryptic enzyme sequences as well as by the activity of the benzoyltransferase expressed in Escherichia coli. Therefore, carnation encodes a small family of anthranilate N-benzoyltransferase genes. In vitro, the benzoyltransferases exhibited narrow substrate specificity for anthranilate but accepted a variety of aromatic acyl-CoAs. Catalytic rates with cinnamoyl- or 4-coumaroyl-CoA exceeded those observed with benzoyl-CoA, although the corresponding dianthramides did not accumulate in vivo. Thus the cDNAs described represent also the first hydroxycinnamoyltransferases cloned from plants, which classifies the enzymes as hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferases.

Dianthus caryophyllus L. carnation phytoalexin biosynthesis cell suspension cultures dianthramides fungal elicitor hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferases 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Yang
    • 1
  • Klaus Reinhard
    • 2
  • Emile Schiltz
    • 3
  • Ulrich Matern
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für Biologie II, Lehrstuhl für Biochemie der PflanzenUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.LimburgerhofBASFLudwigshafenGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Organische Chemie und BiochemieUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Pharmazeutische BiologiePhilipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany

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