Data_Sheet_1_Pathway Editing Targets for Thiamine Biofortification in Rice Grains.doc
Thiamine deficiency is common in populations consuming polished rice as a major source of carbohydrates. Thiamine is required to synthesize thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), an essential cofactor of enzymes of central metabolism. Its biosynthesis pathway has been partially elucidated and the effect of overexpression of a few genes such as thi1 and thiC, on thiamine accumulation in rice has been reported. Based on current knowledge, this review focuses on the potential of gene editing in metabolic engineering of thiamine biosynthesis pathway to improve thiamine in rice grains. Candidate genes, suitable for modification of the structural part to evolve more efficient versions of enzymes in the pathway, are discussed. For example, adjacent cysteine residues may be introduced in the catalytic domain of thi4 to improve the turn over activity of thiamine thiazole synthase 2. Motif specific editing to modify promoter regulatory regions of genes is discussed to modulate gene expression. Editing cis acting regulatory elements in promoter region can shift the expression of transporters and thiamine binding proteins to endosperm. This can enhance dietary availability of thiamine from rice grains. Differential transcriptomics on rice varieties with contrasting grain thiamine and functional genomic studies will identify more strategic targets for editing in future. Developing functionally enhanced foods by biofortification is a sustainable approach to make diets wholesome.