From Plant Extract to a cDNA Encoding a Glucosyltransferase Candidate: Proteomics and Transcriptomics as Tools to Help Elucidate Saponin Biosynthesis in Centella asiatica
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Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (Apiaceae), a small annual plant that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and other parts of Asia, is well-known as a medicinal herb with a long history of therapeutic uses. The bioactive compounds present in C. asiatica leaves include ursane-type triterpene sapogenins and saponins—asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and madecassoside. Various bioactivities have been shown for these compounds, although most of the steps in the biosynthesis of triterpene saponins, including glycosylation, remain uncharacterized at the molecular level. This chapter describes an approach that integrates partial enzyme purification, proteomics methods, and transcriptomics, with the aim of reducing the number of cDNA candidates encoding for a glucosyltransferase involved in saponin biosynthesis and facilitating the elucidation of the pathway in this medicinal plant.
Key wordsCentella asiatica Saponin Glucosyltransferase Proteomics Transcriptomics
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