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Molecular cloning and function assay of a chalcone isomerase gene (GbCHI) from Ginkgo biloba

Cheng, Hua, Li, Linling, Cheng, Shuiyuan, Cao, Fuliang, Wang, Yan, Yuan, Honghui
Plant cell reports 2011 v.30 no.1 pp. 49-62
Ginkgo biloba, abscisic acid, aminolevulinic acid, biosynthesis, chalcone isomerase, chalcones, chlormequat, complementary DNA, correlation, enzyme activity, ethylene, gene expression regulation, genes, high performance liquid chromatography, introns, irradiation, isomerization, leaves, molecular cloning, molecular weight, naringenin, promoter regions, recombinant proteins, ultraviolet radiation
Chalcone isomerase (CHI, EC is one of the key enzymes in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway catalyzing the stereospecific isomerization of chalcones into their corresponding (2S)-flavanones. In this investigation, both the cDNA sequence and the genomic sequence encoding the chalcone isomerase from Ginkgo biloba L. (designated as GbCHI) were isolated from the leaves. The GbCHI gene contained two introns and three extrons and encoded a peptide of 244 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 26.29 kDa and a pI of 7.76. RQPCR showed that GbCHI was expressed in a tissue-specific manner in G. biloba. Expression of GbCHI was also up-regulated by UV-B irradiation or treatment with 5-aminolevulinic acid or three plant growth regulator--ethylene, abscisic acid, and chlormequat--and these effects were consistent with analysis of the GbCHI promoter region. The recombinant protein was successfully expressed in an E.coli strain with the pET-28a vector. In vitro enzyme activity, assayed by HPLC, indicated that recombinant GbCHI protein could catalyze the formation of naringenin from 6′-hydroxychalcone. RQPCR analysis showed that CHI activity correlated with changes in transcription level of the CHI gene, GbCHI activity was also positively correlated with total flavonoid levels in ginkgo leaves, suggesting CHI as a key gene regulating flavonoid accumulation in ginkgo leaves.