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Ziegler, J.; Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Miersch, O.; Hamberg, M.; Grimm, M.; Ganal, M.; Wasternack, C. Molecular cloning of allene oxide cyclase: The enzyme establishing the stereochemistry of octadecanoids and jasmonates J. Biol. Chem. 275, 19132-19138, (2000) DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M002133200

Allene oxide cyclase (AOC) catalyses the stereospecific cyclisation of an unstable allene oxide to 9(S),13(S)-12-oxo-10,15(Z)-phytodienoic acid, the ultimate precursor of jasmonic acid. This enzyme has previously been purified, and two identical N-terminal peptides were found suggesting AOC to be a homodimeric protein. Furthermore, the native protein was N-terminal processed. Using degenerate primers, a PCR fragment could be generated from tomato, which was further used to isolate a full length cDNA clone of 1kb coding for a protein with 245 amino acids with a molecular mass of 26 kDa. Whereas expression of the whole coding region failed to detect AOC activity, a 5-'truncated protein showed high activity, suggesting that additional amino acids impair the enzymatic function. Steric analysis of the 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid formed by the recombinant AOC revealed exclusive (>99%) formation of the 9(S),13(S) enantiomer. Exclusive formation of this enantiomer was also found in wounded tomato leaves. Southern analysis and genetic mapping revealed the existence of a single gene for AOC located on chromosome 2 of tomato. Inspection of the N-terminus revealed the presence of a chloroplastic transit peptide, and the location of AOC protein in that compartment could be shown by immunohistochemical methods. Concomitant with the jasmonate levels, the accumulation of AOC mRNA was transiently induced after wounding of tomato leaves.
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