Latent and active aurone synthase from petals of C. grandiflora: a polyphenol oxidase with unique characteristics.

PMID 25697287


Aurone synthase belongs to the novel group 2 polyphenol oxidases and the presented kinetic characterization suggests a differing aurone biosynthesis in Asteraceae species compared to snapdragon. Aurone synthases (AUS) are polyphenol oxidases (PPO) physiologically involved in the formation of yellow aurone pigments in petals of various Asteraceae species. They catalyze the oxidative conversion of chalcones into aurones. Latent (58.9 kDa) and active (41.6 kDa) aurone synthase from petals of C. grandiflora was purified by a quantitative removal of pigments using aqueous two-phase separation and several subsequent chromatographic steps. The purified enzymes were identified as cgAUS1 (A0A075DN54) and sequence analysis revealed that cgAUS1 is a member of a new group of plant PPOs. Mass determination experiments of intact cgAUS1 gave evidence that the C-terminal domain, usually shielding the active site of latent polyphenol oxidases, is linked to the main core by a disulfide bond. This is a novel and unique structural feature of plant PPOs. Proteolytic activation in vivo leads to active aurone synthase possessing a residual peptide of the C-terminal domain. Kinetic characterization of purified cgAUS1 strongly suggests a specific involvement in 4-deoxyaurone biosynthesis in Coreopsis grandiflora (Asteraceae) that differs in various aspects compared to the 4-hydroxyaurone formation in Antirrhinum majus (Plantaginaceae): cgAUS1 is predicted to be localized in the thylakoid lumen, it possesses exclusively diphenolase activity and the results suggest that aurone formation occurs at the level of chalcone aglycones. The latent enzyme exhibits allosteric activation which changes at a specific product concentration to a constant reaction rate. The presented novel structural and functional properties of aurone synthase provide further insights in the diversity and role of plant PPOs.