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Heteromeric Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthase Contributes to Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Ripening Fruits of Red Pepper (Capsicum annuum var. conoides)

Wang, Qiang, Huang, Xing-Qi, Cao, Tian-Jun, Zhuang, Zhong, Wang, Ran, Lu, Shan
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.66 no.44 pp. 11691-11700
Capsicum annuum var. annuum, biosynthesis, carotenoids, enzyme activity, fruits, genome, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, peppers, phytoene synthase, protein-protein interactions, ripening
Pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruits are a rich source of carotenoids. Geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) is the precursor for carotenoid biosynthesis and is produced by GGPP synthase (GGPPS), which belongs to the prenyl transferase (PTS) family. In this study, we identified from the pepper genome a total of eight PTS homologues. Our subcellular localization, enzymatic activity, and expression level analyses proved that among these homologues Capana04g000412 is the only functional GGPPS (CaGGPPS1) for carotenoid biosynthesis in pepper fruits. We demonstrated that CaGGPPS1 interacts with a catalytically inactive small subunit homologue protein CaSSUII, and such an interaction promotes CaGGPPS1 enzymatic activity. We also revealed a protein–protein interaction between CaSSUII and a putative phytoene synthase and the repression of carotenoid accumulation by silencing CaSSUII in pepper fruits. Taken together, our results suggest an essential contribution of the CaGGPPS1/CaSSUII interaction to carotenoid biosynthesis in ripening pepper fruits.