Determination of the Substrate Specificity of the Mutant D344P of Citrus paradisi Flavonol-Specific 3-O-Glucosyltransferase

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Plants produce a vast array of secondary metabolites. The phenolic compounds flavonoids are metabolites ubiquitous among plants and are known to aid in processes such as plant reproduction, UV defense, pigmentation and development. In relation to human health, flavonoids have also been found to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidant properties. Flavonoids ability to participate in so many interactions is due in part to their subclass variation and further chemical modification. One such modification is glucosylation, where a glucose molecule is added to the flavonoid substrate. The enzymes that catalyze these reactions are known as glucosyltransferases. Citrus paradisi contains a glucosyltransferase that is specific to the 3-O position of flavonols. To further understand the reactions it catalyzes, Cp3-O-GT structure was modeled against an anthocyanidin/flavonol 3 GT found in Vitis vinifera to identify candidate amino acids for mutations. Mutants were then created using site-directed mutagenesis, and one mutant, D344P, was constructed by an aspartate being replaced with a proline based off of the sequence comparison of the original enzymes. Biochemically characterizing the mutant D344P protein will determine whether the mutation has an effect on the substrate specificity of Cp3-O-GT. An initial quickscreening assay using radioactive UDP-glucose as a sugar donor suggested there may have been expansion of substrate acceptance. Confirming time course assays did not support this. Additionally, results of these assays show that D344P protein has decreased activity with flavonols as compared to wild type Cp3-O-GT. with no expansion of substrate specificity. Models suggest that a change in protein conformation has resulted in decreased activity.


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