Molecular characterization and expression of 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR) gene from Salvia miltiorrhiza

Xiangming Yan, Lin Zhang, Jing Wang, Pan Liao, Yan Zhang, Ran Zhang, Guoyin Kai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


1-Deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate (DXP) reductoisomerase (DXR; EC catalyzes the first committed step of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis in plants. The present study describes the cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding DXR from Salvia miltiorrhiza (designated as SmDXR, GenBank Accession No. FJ476255). Comparative and bioinformatic analyses revealed that SmDXR showed extensive homology with DXRs from other plant species. Phylogenetic tree analysis indicated that SmDXR belongs to the plant DXR superfamily and has the closest relationship with DXR from Lycopersicon esculentum. Tissue expression pattern analysis revealed that SmDXR expressed strongly in leaves, followed by roots and stems, implying that SmDXR was a constitutively expressed gene. This is the first report on the mRNA expression profile of genes encoding key enzymes involved in tanshinone biosynthetic pathway in Salvia plants. The expression profiles revealed by RT-PCR under different elicitor treatments such as methyl jasmonate (MJ) and salicylic acid (SA) were compared for the first time, and the results revealed that SmDXR was an elicitor-responsive gene, which could be induced by SA in leaves and inhibited by exogenous MJ in three tested tissues. The functional color assay in Escherichia coli showed that SmDXR could accelerate the biosynthesis of lycopene, indicating that SmDXR encoded a functional protein. The characterization, expression profile and functional analysis of SmDXR gene will be helpful for further study in the role of SmDXR in tanshinones biosynthetic pathway and metabolic engineering to increase tanshinones production in S. miltiorrhiza.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1022
Number of pages8
JournalActa Physiologiae Plantarum
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Expression analysis
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza
  • SmDXR
  • Tanshinones


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