Flavonoids are a large class of phenylpropanoid-derived secondary metabolites, which are usually glycosylated by UDP-glycosyltransferases with one or more sugar groups. Here, we report the cloning and biochemical characterization of a flavonoid glycosyltransferase gene from Withania somnifera (WsGT), which is an important medicinal plant used in Ayurvedic formulations. Using PCR primers, designed for a highly conserved region of previously reported glycosyltransferases, we were able to isolate the corresponding fragment of the WsGT gene. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) was then employed to isolate full-length cDNA, which had an open reading frame of 1,371 bp that encode for 456 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that WsGT was similar to that of family 1 GT-B glycosyltransferase. Biochemical analysis revealed that WsGT interacts with UDP-glucose and was capable of regiospecifically glycosylating flavonoid-7-ols, such as apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, diadzein and genistein. Expression profiling studies showed that WsGT was highly expressed in young and mature leaves of W. somnifera. Furthermore, exposure to salicylic acid enhanced the expression of WsGT in the leaves and heat shock treatment resulted in decreased expression of WsGT after an initial increase. This may suggest the role of WsGT in response to abiotic/biotic stresses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Plant Science