Identification of Non-Heme Diiron Proteins That Catalyze Triple Bond and Epoxy Group Formation

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 915-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.915

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Acetylenic bonds are present in more than 600 naturally occurring compounds. Plant enzymes that catalyze the formation of the Δ12 acetylenic bond in 9-octadecen-12-ynoic acid and the Δ12 epoxy group in 12,13-epoxy-9-octadecenoic acid were characterized, and two genes, similar in sequence, were cloned. When these complementary DNAs were expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, the content of acetylenic or epoxidated fatty acids in the seeds increased from 0 to 25 or 15 percent, respectively. Both enzymes have characteristics similar to the membrane proteins containing non–heme iron that have histidine-rich motifs.

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