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Molecular basis of the evolution of methylthioalkylmalate synthase and the diversity of methionine-derived glucosinolates

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Reichelt,  Michael
Department of Biochemistry, Prof. J. Gershenzon, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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G. Vassão,  Daniel
Department of Biochemistry, Prof. J. Gershenzon, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Gershenzon,  Jonathan
Department of Biochemistry, Prof. J. Gershenzon, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Kumar, R., Lee, S. G., Augustine, R., Reichelt, M., G. Vassão, D., Palavalli, M. H., et al. (2019). Molecular basis of the evolution of methylthioalkylmalate synthase and the diversity of methionine-derived glucosinolates. The Plant Cell, 31(7), 1633-1647. doi:10.1105/tpc.19.00046.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7E83-C
Abstract
The globally cultivated Brassica species possess diverse aliphatic glucosinolates, which are important for plant defense and animal nutrition. The committed step in the side-chain elongation of methionine-derived aliphatic glucosinolates is catlyzed by methylthioalkylmalate synthase, which likely evolved from the isopropylmalate synthases of leucine biosynthesis. However, the molecular basis for the evolution of methylthioalkylmalate synthase and its generation of natural product diversity in Brassica is poorly understood. Here we show that Brassica genomes encode multiple methylthioalkylmalate synthases that have differences in expression profiles and 2-oxo substrate preference, which account for the diversity of aliphatic glucosinolates across Brassica accessions. Analysis of the 2.1 Å resolution x-ray crystal structure of B. juncea methylthioalkylmalate synthase identified key active site residues responsible for controlling the specificity for different 2-oxo substrates and the determinants of side-chain length in aliphatic glucosinolates. Overall, these results provide the evolutionary and biochemical foundation for the diversification of glucosinolates profiles across globally cultivated Brassica species, which could be used with ongoing breeding strategies towards the manipulation of beneficial glucosinolates compounds for animal health and plant protection.