|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don produces a number of biologically active terpenoid indole alkaloids via a complex terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthetic pathway. The final dimerization step of this pathway, leading to the synthesis of a dimeric alkaloid, vinblastine, was demonstrated to be catalyzed by a basic peroxidase. However, reports of the gene encoding this enzyme are scarce for C. roseus. We report here for the first time the cloning, characterization and localization of a novel basic peroxidase, CrPrx, from C. roseus. A 394 bp partial peroxidase cDNA (CrInt1) was initially amplified from the internodal stem tissue, using degenerate oligonucleotide primers, and cloned. The full-length coding region of CrPrx cDNA was isolated by screening a leaf-specific cDNA library with CrInt1 as probe. The CrPrx nucleotide sequence encodes a deduced translation product of 330 amino acids with a 21 amino acid signal peptide, suggesting that CrPrx is secretory in nature. The molecular mass of this unprocessed and unmodified deduced protein is estimated to be 37.43 kDa, and the pI value is 8.68. CrPrx was found to belong to a ‘three intron’ category of gene that encodes a class III basic secretory peroxidase. CrPrx protein and mRNA were found to be present in specific organs and were regulated by different stress treatments. Using a β-glucuronidase–green fluorescent protein fusion of CrPrx protein, we demonstrated that the fused protein is localized in leaf epidermal and guard cell walls of transiently transformed tobacco. We propose that CrPrx is involved in cell wall synthesis, and also that the gene is induced under methyl jasmonate treatment. Its potential involvement in the terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthetic pathway is discussed.