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The allene oxide cyclase family of Arabidopsis thaliana - localization and cyclization

Schaller, Florian, Zerbe, Philipp, Reinbothe, Steffen, Reinbothe, Christiane, Hofmann, Eckhard, Pollmann, Stephan
FEBS journal 2008 v.275 no.10 pp. 2428-2441
Arabidopsis thaliana, allene, biosynthesis, bound water, chloroplasts, green fluorescent protein, isozymes, jasmonic acid, metabolites, models, oxylipins, plant development, site-directed mutagenesis
Jasmonates are derived from oxygenated fatty acids (oxylipins) via the octadecanoid pathway and are characterized by a pentacyclic ring structure. They have regulatory functions as signaling molecules in plant development and adaptation to environmental stress. Recently, we solved the structure of allene oxide cyclase 2 (AOC2) of Arabidopsis thaliana, which is, together with the other three AOCs, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of jasmonates, in that it releases the first cyclic and biologically active metabolite - 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). On the basis of models for the bound substrate, 12,13(S)-epoxy-9(Z),11,15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid, and the product, OPDA, we proposed that a conserved Glu promotes the reaction by anchimeric assistance. According to this hypothesis, the transition state with a pentadienyl carbocation and an oxyanion is stabilized by a strongly bound water molecule and favorable π-π interactions with aromatic residues in the cavity. Stereoselectivity results from steric restrictions to the necessary substrate isomerizations imposed by the protein environment. Here, site-directed mutagenesis was used to explore and verify the proposed reaction mechanism. In a comparative analysis of the AOC family from A. thaliana involving enzymatic characterization, in vitro import, and transient expression of AOC-enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion proteins for analysis of subcellular targeting, we demonstrate that all four AOC isoenzymes may contribute to jasmonate biosynthesis, as they are all located in chloroplasts and, in concert with the allene oxide synthase, they are all able to convert 13(S)-hydroperoxy-9(Z),11(E),15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid into enantiomerically pure cis(+)-OPDA.