Journal Article

Lanosterol Synthase in Dicotyledonous Plants

Masashi Suzuki, Ting Xiang, Kiyoshi Ohyama, Hikaru Seki, Kazuki Saito, Toshiya Muranaka, Hiroaki Hayashi, Yuji Katsube, Tetsuo Kushiro, Masaaki Shibuya and Yutaka Ebizuka

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 5, pages 565-571
Published in print May 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online May 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Lanosterol Synthase in Dicotyledonous Plants

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Sterols are important as structural components of plasma membranes and precursors of steroidal hormones in both animals and plants. Plant sterols show a wide structural variety and significant structural differences from those of animals. To elucidate the origin of structural diversity in plant sterols, their biosynthesis has been extensively studied [Benveniste (2004) Annu. Rev. Plant. Biol. 55: 429, Schaller (2004) Plant Physiol. Biochem. 42: 465]. The differences in the biosynthesis of sterols between plants and animals begin at the step of cyclization of 2,3-oxidosqualene, which is cyclized to lanosterol in animals and to cycloartenol in plants. However, here we show that plants also have the ability to synthesize lanosterol directly from 2,3-oxidosqualene, which may lead to a new pathway to plant sterols. The Arabidopsis gene At3g45130, designated LAS1, encodes a functional lanosterol synthase in plants. A phylogenetic tree showed that LAS1 belongs to the previously uncharacterized branch of oxidosqualene cyclases, which differs from the cycloartenol synthase branch. Panax PNZ on the same branch was also shown to be a lanosterol synthase in a yeast heterologous expression system. The higher diversity of plant sterols may require two biosynthetic routes in steroidal backbone formation.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; Cycloartenol; Lanosterol; Oxidosqualene cyclase; Panax; Phytosterol; CAS, cycloartenol synthase; GC–MS, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; HR, hairy root; NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance; OSC, oxidosqualene cyclase; RT–PCR, reverse transcription–PCR; WT, wild type

Journal Article.  4023 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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