Journal of proteome research

Components of complex lipid biosynthetic pathways in developing castor (Ricinus communis) seeds identified by MudPIT analysis of enriched endoplasmic reticulum.

PMID 21657795


Ricinoleic acid is a feedstock for nylon-11 (N11) synthesis which is currently obtained from castor (Ricinus communis) oil. Production of this fatty acid in a temperate oilseed crop is of great commercial interest, but the highest reported level in transgenic plant oils is 30%, below the 90% observed in castor and insufficient for commercial exploitation. To identify castor oil-biosynthetic enzymes and inform strategies to improve ricinoleic acid yields, we performed MudPIT analysis on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) purified from developing castor bean endosperm. Candidate enzymes for all steps of triacylglycerol synthesis were identified among 72 proteins in the data set related to complex-lipid metabolism. Previous reported proteomic data from oilseeds had not included any membrane-bound enzyme that might incorporate ricinoleic acid into oil. Analysis of enriched ER enabled determination of which protein isoforms for these enzymes were in developing castor seed. To complement this data, quantitative RT-PCR experiments with castor seed and leaf RNA were performed for orthologues of Arabidopsis oil-synthetic enzymes, determining which were highly expressed in the seed. These data provide important information for further manipulation of ricinoleic acid content in oilseeds and peptide data for future quantification strategies.