J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (6): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00243.x

• Research Articles •    

A New Farnesyl Diphosphate Synthase Gene from Taxus media Rehder: Cloning, Characterization and Functional Complementation

Zhi-Hua Liao, Min Chen, Yi-Fu Gong, Zhu-Gang Li, Kai-Jing Zuo, Peng Wang, Feng Tan, Xiao-Fen Sun and Ke-Xuan Tang   

Abstract: Farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPS; EC catalyzes the production of 15-carbon farnesyl diphosphate which is a branch-point intermediate for many terpenoids. This reaction is considered to be a rate-limiting step in terpenoid biosynthesis. Here we report for the first time the cloning of a new full-length cDNA encoding farnesyl diphosphate synthase from a gymnosperm plant species, Taxus media Rehder, designated as TmFPS1. The full-length cDNA of TmFPS1 (GenBank accession number: AY461811) was 1 464 bp with a 1 056-bp open reading frame encoding a 351-amino acid polypeptide with a calculated molecular weight of 40.3 kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.07. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that TmFPS1 contained all five conserved domains of prenyltransferases, and showed homology to other FPSs of plant origin. Phylogenetic analysis showed that farnesyl diphosphate synthases can be divided into two groups: one of prokaryotic origin and the other of eukaryotic origin. TmFPS1 was grouped with FPSs of plant origin. Homology-based structural modeling showed that TmFPS1 had the typical spatial structure of FPS, whose most prominent structural feature is the arrangement of 13 core helices around a large central cavity in which the catalytic reaction takes place. Our bioinformatic analysis strongly suggests that TmFPS1 is a functional gene. Southern blot analysis revealed that TmFPS1 belongs to a small FPS gene family in T. media. Northern blot analysis indicated that TmFPS1 is expressed in all tested tissues, including the needles, stems and roots of T. media. Subsequently, functional complementation with TmFPS1 in a FPS-deficient mutant yeast demonstrated that TmFPS1 did encode farnesyl diphosphate synthase, which rescued the yeast mutant. This study will be helpful in future investigations aiming at understanding the detailed role of FPS in terpenoid biosynthesis flux control at the molecular genetic level.(Author for correspondence.Tel:021-65642772;Fax:021-65643552;E-mail: kxtang1@yahoo.com)

Key words: farnesyl diphosphate synthase, rapid amplification of cDNA ends, Taxus media, yeast complementation.

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