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B6db references: 30717241

type Journal Article
authors Bai P, Wei K, Wang L, Zhang F, Ruan L, Li H, Wu L, Cheng H
title Identification of a Novel Gene Encoding the Specialized Alanine Decarboxylase in Tea (Camellia sinensis) Plants
journal Molecules
Activity ala.decarboxylase
Family ala.decarboxylase
sel selected
ui 30717241
year (2019)
volume 24
number 3
pages E540
keywords Camellia sinensis; alanine decarboxylase; enzymatic activity; ethylamine; gene expression; nitrogen metabolism; theanine
abstract Theanine, a unique amino acid in Camellia sinensis, accounts for more than 50% of total free amino acids in tea and has a significant contribution to the quality of green tea. Previous research indicated that theanine is synthesized from glutamic acid (Glu) and ethylamine mainly in roots, and that theanine accumulation depends on the availability of ethylamine which is derived from alanine (Ala) decarboxylation catalyzed by alanine decarboxylase (AlaDC). However, the specific gene encoding AlaDC protein remains to be discovered in tea plants or in other species. To explore the gene of AlaDC in tea plants, the differences in theanine contents and gene expressions between pretreatment and posttreatment of long-time nitrogen starvation were analyzed in young roots of two tea cultivars. A novel gene annotated as serine decarboxylase (SDC) was noted for its expression levels, which showed high consistency with theanine content, and the expression was remarkably high in young roots under sufficient nitrogen condition. To verify its function, full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) of this candidate gene was cloned from young roots of tea seedlings, and the target protein was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli (E. coli). The enzymatic activity of the protein for Ala and Ser was measured in vitro using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS). The results illustrated that the target protein could catalyze the decarboxylation of Ala despite of its high similarity with SDC from other species. Therefore, this novel gene was identified as AlaDC and named CsAlaDC. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of CsAlaDC in different tissues of tea plants were also quantified with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The results suggest that transcription levels of CsAlaDC in root tissues are significantly higher than those in leaf tissues. That may explain why theanine biosynthesis preferentially occurs in the roots of tea plants. The expression of the gene was upregulated when nitrogen was present, suggesting that theanine biosynthesis is regulated by nitrogen supply and closely related to nitrogen metabolism for C. sinensis. The results of this study are significant supplements to the theanine biosynthetic pathway and provide evidence for the differential accumulation of theanine between C. sinensis and other species.
last changed 2019/03/22 09:24

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