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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Engineering Enzymatic Redirection of Natural Crop Oil Production to Industrial Oil Production Title: Structure-function analysis of diacylglycerol acyltransferase sequences from 70 organisms

Author
item Cao, Heping

Submitted to: BMC Research Notes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2011
Publication Date: July 21, 2011
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/50060
Citation: Cao, Heping. 2011. Structure-function analysis of diacylglycerol acyltransferase sequences from 70 organisms. BMC Research Notes. 4:249 (24 pages).

Interpretive Summary: Triacylglycerols are the major molecules of energy storage in eukaryotes. They also serve as a reservoir of fatty acids for membrane biogenesis and lead to obesity due to excessive accumulation in adipose tissues. Diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGATs) catalyze the last and rate-limiting step of triacylglycerol biosynthesis in eukaryotic organisms. Understanding the roles of DGATs will help to create transgenic plants with value-added properties and provide clues for therapeutic intervention for obesity and related diseases. The objective of this analysis was to identify conserved sequence motifs and amino acid residues for better understanding of the structure-function relationship of these important enzymes. 117 DGAT sequences from 70 organisms including plants, animals, fungi and human are analyzed. This study has identified conserved sequence motifs and amino acid residues in all DGATs and the two subclasses. The sequence analysis should facilitate studying the structure-function relationship of DGATs with the ultimate goal of identifying critical amino acid residues for engineering superb enzymes in metabolic engineering and selecting enzyme inhibitors in therapeutic application for obesity and related diseases.

Technical Abstract: Diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGATs) catalyze the final and rate-limiting step of triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis in eukaryotic organisms. Understanding the roles of DGATs will help to create transgenic plants with value-added properties and provide clues for therapeutic intervention for obesity and related diseases. The objective of this analysis was to identify conserved sequence motifs and amino acid residues for better understanding of the structure-function relationship of these important enzymes. 117 DGAT sequences from 70 organisms including plants, animals, fungi and human are obtained from database search using tung tree DGATs. Phylogenetic analysis separates these proteins into DGAT1 and DGAT2 subclasses. DGATs are integral membrane proteins with more than 40% of the total amino acid residues being hydrophobic. They have similar properties and amino acid composition except that DGAT1s are 20 kDa larger than DGAT2s. DGAT1s and DGAT2s have 41 and 16 completely conserved amino acid residues, respectively, although only two of them are shared by all DGATs. These residues are distributed in 7 and 6 sequence blocks for DGAT1s and DGAT2s, respectively, and located at the carboxyl termini, suggesting the location of the catalytic domains. These conserved sequence blocks do not contain the putative neutral lipid-binding domain, mitochondrial targeting signal, or ER retrieval motif. The importance of conserved residues has been demonstrated by site-directed and natural mutants. This study has identified conserved sequence motifs and amino acid residues in all DGATs and the two subclasses. None of the completely conserved residues in DGAT1s and DGAT2s are present in recently reported isoforms in the multiple sequences alignment, raising an important question how a completely different protein could perform the same biochemical reaction. The sequence analysis should facilitate studying the structure-function relationship of DGATs with the ultimate goal of identifying critical amino acid residues for engineering superb enzymes in metabolic engineering and selecting enzyme inhibitors in therapeutic application for obesity and related diseases.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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