Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Roy J. Carver Department of, Center for Metabolic Biology, Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
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Fatty acids of more than 18-carbons, generally known as very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) are essential for eukaryotic cell viability, and uniquely in terrestrial plants they are the precursors of the cuticular lipids that form the organism’s outer barrier to the environment. VLCFAs are synthesized by fatty acid elongase (FAE), which is an integral membrane enzyme system with multiple components. The genetic complexity of the FAE system, and its membrane association has hampered the biochemical characterization of FAE. In this study we computationally identified Zea mays genetic sequences that encode the enzymatic components of FAE and developed a heterologous expression system to evaluate their functionality. The ability of the maize components to genetically complement Saccharomyces cerevisiae lethal mutants confirmed the functionality of ZmKCS4, ZmELO1, ZmKCR1, ZmKCR2, ZmHCD and ZmECR, and the VLCFA profiles of the resulting strains were used to infer the ability of each enzyme component to determine the product profile of FAE. These characterizations indicate that the product profile of the FAE system is an attribute shared among the KCS, ELO, and KCR components of FAE.
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Campbell, Alexis A.; Stenback, Kenna E.; Flyckt, Kayla; Hoang, Trang; Perera, M. Ann; and Nikolau, Basil J., "A single-cell platform for reconstituting and characterizing fatty acid elongase component enzymes" (2019). Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Publications. 220.