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Functional analysis of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase encoding genes in triterpene saponin-producing ginseng



Functional analysis of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase encoding genes in triterpene saponin-producing ginseng



Plant Physiology 165(1): 373-387



Ginsenosides are glycosylated triterpenes that are considered to be important pharmaceutically active components of the ginseng (Panax ginseng 'Meyer') plant, which is known as an adaptogenic herb. However, the regulatory mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of triterpene saponin through the mevalonate pathway in ginseng remains unclear. In this study, we characterized the role of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) concerning ginsenoside biosynthesis. Through analysis of full-length complementary DNA, two forms of ginseng HMGR (PgHMGR1 and PgHMGR2) were identified as showing high sequence identity. The steady-state mRNA expression patterns of PgHMGR1 and PgHMGR2 are relatively low in seed, leaf, stem, and flower, but stronger in the petiole of seedling and root. The transcripts of PgHMGR1 were relatively constant in 3- and 6-year-old ginseng roots. However, PgHMGR2 was increased five times in the 6-year-old ginseng roots compared with the 3-year-old ginseng roots, which indicates that HMGRs have constant and specific roles in the accumulation of ginsenosides in roots. Competitive inhibition of HMGR by mevinolin caused a significant reduction of total ginsenoside in ginseng adventitious roots. Moreover, continuous dark exposure for 2 to 3 d increased the total ginsenosides content in 3-year-old ginseng after the dark-induced activity of PgHMGR1. These results suggest that PgHMGR1 is associated with the dark-dependent promotion of ginsenoside biosynthesis. We also observed that the PgHMGR1 can complement Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hmgr1-1 and that the overexpression of PgHMGR1 enhanced the production of sterols and triterpenes in Arabidopsis and ginseng. Overall, this finding suggests that ginseng HMGRs play a regulatory role in triterpene ginsenoside biosynthesis.

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Accession: 053320573

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24569845

DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.222596


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