Regiochemical control of monolignol radical coupling: A new paradigm for lignin and lignan biosynthesis

David R. Gang, Michael A. Costa, Masayuki Fujita, Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova, Huai Bin Wang, Vincent Burlat, William Martin, Simo Sarkanen, Laurence B. Davin, Norman G. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

151 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Although the lignins and lignans, both monolignol-derived coupling products, account for nearly 300% of the organic carbon circulating in the biosphere, the biosynthetic mechanism of their formation has been poorly understood. The prevailing view has been that lignins and lignans are produced by random free-radical polymerization and coupling, respectively. This view is challenged, mechanistically, by the recent discovery of dirigent proteins that precisely determine both the regiochemical and stereoselective outcome of monolignol radical coupling. Results: To understand further the regulation and control of monolignol coupling, leading to both lignan and lignin formation, we sought to clone the first genes encoding dirigent proteins from several species. The encoding genes, described here, have no sequence homology with any other protein of known function. When expressed in a heterologous system, the recombinant protein was able to confer strict regiochemical and stereochemical control on monolignol free-radical coupling. The expression in plants of dirigent proteins and proposed dirigent protein arrays in developing xylem and in other lignified tissues indicates roles for these proteins in both lignan formation and lignification. Conclusions: The first understanding of regiochemical and stereochemical control of monolignol coupling in lignan biosynthesis has been established via the participation of a new class of dirigent proteins. Immunological studies have also implicated the involvement of potential corresponding arrays of dirigent protein sites in controlling lignin biopolymer assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry and Biology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999

Fingerprint

Lignans
Lignin
Biosynthesis
Protein Array Analysis
Proteins
Free Radicals
Gene encoding
Xylem
Plant Proteins
Biopolymers
Sequence Homology
Recombinant Proteins
Polymerization
Genes
Carbon
Clone Cells
Free radical polymerization
Organic carbon
Tissue

Keywords

  • Dirigent protein
  • Lignans
  • Lignins
  • Radical coupling

Cite this

Gang, David R. ; Costa, Michael A. ; Fujita, Masayuki ; Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T. ; Wang, Huai Bin ; Burlat, Vincent ; Martin, William ; Sarkanen, Simo ; Davin, Laurence B. ; Lewis, Norman G. / Regiochemical control of monolignol radical coupling : A new paradigm for lignin and lignan biosynthesis. In: Chemistry and Biology. 1999 ; Vol. 6, No. 3. pp. 143-151.
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Gang, DR, Costa, MA, Fujita, M, Dinkova-Kostova, AT, Wang, HB, Burlat, V, Martin, W, Sarkanen, S, Davin, LB & Lewis, NG 1999, 'Regiochemical control of monolignol radical coupling: A new paradigm for lignin and lignan biosynthesis', Chemistry and Biology, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 143-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-5521(99)89006-1

Regiochemical control of monolignol radical coupling : A new paradigm for lignin and lignan biosynthesis. / Gang, David R.; Costa, Michael A.; Fujita, Masayuki; Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T.; Wang, Huai Bin; Burlat, Vincent; Martin, William; Sarkanen, Simo; Davin, Laurence B.; Lewis, Norman G.

In: Chemistry and Biology, Vol. 6, No. 3, 03.1999, p. 143-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Regiochemical control of monolignol radical coupling

T2 - A new paradigm for lignin and lignan biosynthesis

AU - Gang, David R.

AU - Costa, Michael A.

AU - Fujita, Masayuki

AU - Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T.

AU - Wang, Huai Bin

AU - Burlat, Vincent

AU - Martin, William

AU - Sarkanen, Simo

AU - Davin, Laurence B.

AU - Lewis, Norman G.

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N2 - Background: Although the lignins and lignans, both monolignol-derived coupling products, account for nearly 300% of the organic carbon circulating in the biosphere, the biosynthetic mechanism of their formation has been poorly understood. The prevailing view has been that lignins and lignans are produced by random free-radical polymerization and coupling, respectively. This view is challenged, mechanistically, by the recent discovery of dirigent proteins that precisely determine both the regiochemical and stereoselective outcome of monolignol radical coupling. Results: To understand further the regulation and control of monolignol coupling, leading to both lignan and lignin formation, we sought to clone the first genes encoding dirigent proteins from several species. The encoding genes, described here, have no sequence homology with any other protein of known function. When expressed in a heterologous system, the recombinant protein was able to confer strict regiochemical and stereochemical control on monolignol free-radical coupling. The expression in plants of dirigent proteins and proposed dirigent protein arrays in developing xylem and in other lignified tissues indicates roles for these proteins in both lignan formation and lignification. Conclusions: The first understanding of regiochemical and stereochemical control of monolignol coupling in lignan biosynthesis has been established via the participation of a new class of dirigent proteins. Immunological studies have also implicated the involvement of potential corresponding arrays of dirigent protein sites in controlling lignin biopolymer assembly.

AB - Background: Although the lignins and lignans, both monolignol-derived coupling products, account for nearly 300% of the organic carbon circulating in the biosphere, the biosynthetic mechanism of their formation has been poorly understood. The prevailing view has been that lignins and lignans are produced by random free-radical polymerization and coupling, respectively. This view is challenged, mechanistically, by the recent discovery of dirigent proteins that precisely determine both the regiochemical and stereoselective outcome of monolignol radical coupling. Results: To understand further the regulation and control of monolignol coupling, leading to both lignan and lignin formation, we sought to clone the first genes encoding dirigent proteins from several species. The encoding genes, described here, have no sequence homology with any other protein of known function. When expressed in a heterologous system, the recombinant protein was able to confer strict regiochemical and stereochemical control on monolignol free-radical coupling. The expression in plants of dirigent proteins and proposed dirigent protein arrays in developing xylem and in other lignified tissues indicates roles for these proteins in both lignan formation and lignification. Conclusions: The first understanding of regiochemical and stereochemical control of monolignol coupling in lignan biosynthesis has been established via the participation of a new class of dirigent proteins. Immunological studies have also implicated the involvement of potential corresponding arrays of dirigent protein sites in controlling lignin biopolymer assembly.

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