5 years ago

Involvement of LeMDR, an ATP-binding cassette protein gene, in shikonin transport and biosynthesis in Lithospermum erythrorhizon

Involvement of LeMDR, an ATP-binding cassette protein gene, in shikonin transport and biosynthesis in Lithospermum erythrorhizon
Rong-Wu Yang, Feng-Yao Wu, Cheng-Yi Tang, Jin-Liang Qi, Yu Zhu, Yong-Hua Yang, Yan-Jun Pang, Zhuo-Wu Bian, Xiao-Ming Wang, Gui-Hua Lu
Shikonin is a naphthoquinone secondary metabolite with important medicinal value and is found in Lithospermum erythrorhizon. Considering the limited knowledge on the membrane transport mechanism of shikonin, this study investigated such molecular mechanism. We successfully isolated an ATP-binding cassette protein gene, LeMDR, from L. erythrorhizon. LeMDR is predominantly expressed in L. erythrorhizon roots, where shikonin accumulated. Functional analysis of LeMDR by using the yeast cell expression system revealed that LeMDR is possibly involved in the shikonin efflux transport. The accumulation of shikonin is lower in yeast cells transformed with LeMDR-overexpressing vector than that with empty vector. The transgenic hairy roots of L. erythrorhizon overexpressing LeMDR (MDRO) significantly enhanced shikonin production, whereas the RNA interference of LeMDR (MDRi) displayed a reverse trend. Moreover, the mRNA expression level of LeMDR was up-regulated by treatment with shikonin and shikonin-positive regulators, methyl jasmonate and indole-3-acetic acid. There might be a relationship of mutual regulation between the expression level of LeMDR and shikonin biosynthesis. Our findings demonstrated the important role of LeMDR in transmembrane transport and biosynthesis of shikonin.
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