Journal Article

Distinct Roles of Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase Genes in <i>Populus</i>

Shanfa Lu, Yihua Zhou, Laigeng Li and Vincent L. Chiang

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 7, pages 905-914
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Distinct Roles of Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase Genes in Populus

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


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Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H) catalyzes the conversion of cinnamate into 4-hydroxy-cinnamate, a key reaction of the phenylpropanoid pathway which leads to the biosynthesis of several secondary metabolites. C4H genes exist as a multigene family in various plant species. In order to understand the roles of individual C4H members, four C4H cDNAs (PtreC4H) were isolated from Populus tremuloides and three C4H loci (PtriC4H) were identified in the P. trichocarpa genome. The ability of Populus C4H isoforms to convert trans-cinnamate into p-coumaric acid was verified by the examination of yeast recombinant PtreC4H proteins. Populus C4H genes were expressed in various tissues, including developing xylem, phloem and epidermis; however, the expression patterns of individual members were different from each other. Sequential analysis of C4H promoters showed that the differential expression of C4H genes was associated with cis-acting regulatory elements such as box L, box P and H box, suggesting that the divergent C4H isoforms played distinct roles in the production of secondary metabolites. The involvement of specific C4H isoforms in the biosynthesis of guaiacyl and syringyl monolignols is discussed.

Keywords: Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H); Lignin; Phenylpropanoid; Populus tremuloides; Populus trichocarpa

Journal Article.  6237 words.  Illustrated.

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

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