Data_Sheet_1_Identification and Characterization of a Trillin Rhamnosyltransferase From Dioscorea zingiberensis.pdf
Dioscorea zingiberensis accumulates abundant steroidal saponins, such as dioscin, which is the principal bioactive ingredient displaying a wide range of pharmacological activities. Diosgenin is the aglycone of dioscin, and recently, genes encoding cytochrome P450 enzymes in the late steps of diosgenin biosynthesis have been isolated. Diosgenin was successfully synthesized in the cholesterol-producing yeasts. From diosgenin to dioscin, one glucose and two rhamnose groups need to be added. Although genes encoding UDP-glucosyltransferases converting diosgenin to trillin were isolated, genes encoding UDP-rhamnosyltransferases involved in dioscin biosynthesis remain unknown. In this study, we isolated the cDNA encoding the trillin rhamnosyltransferase (designated DzGT1) from D. zingiberensis. Heterologous expression of DzGT1 in Escherichia coli cells showed that the gene product exhibits an enzyme activity that glycosylates the trillin to form prosapogenin A of dioscin (PSA). The transcript level of DzGT1 is in accord with PSA accumulation in different organs of D. zingiberensis. Integration of the biochemical, metabolic, and transcriptional data supported the function of DzGT1 in dioscin biosynthesis. The identification and characterization of DzGT1 will help understand the metabolism of steroidal saponins in D. zingiberensis and provide candidate UDP-rhamnosyltransferase for efficient production of PSA, dioscin, and relevant steroidal saponins in microbial hosts.