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Free Content Molecular and biochemical characterizations of the monoacylglycerol lipase gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana

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Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) catalyzes the last step of triacylglycerol breakdown, which is the hydrolysis of monoacylglycerol (MAG) to fatty acid and glycerol. Arabidopsis harbors over 270 genes annotated as ‘lipase’, the largest class of acyl lipid metabolism genes that have not been characterized experimentally. In this study, computational modeling suggested that 16 Arabidopsis putative MAGLs (AtMAGLs) have a three‐dimensional structure that is similar to a human MAGL. Heterologous expression and enzyme assays indicated that 11 of the 16 encoded proteins indeed possess MAG lipase activity. Additionally, AtMAGL4 displayed hydrolase activity with lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE) substrates and AtMAGL1 and 2 utilized LPE as a substrate. All recombinant AtMAGLs preferred MAG substrates with unsaturated fatty acids over saturated fatty acids and AtMAGL8 exhibited the highest hydrolase activities with MAG containing 20:1 fatty acids. Except for AtMAGL4, −14 and −16, all AtMAGLs showed similar activity with both sn‐1 and sn‐2 MAG isomers. Spatial, temporal and stress‐induced expression of the 16 AtMAGL genes was analyzed by transcriptome analyses. AtMAGL:eYFP fusion proteins provided initial evidence that AtMAGL1, −3, −6, ‐7, −8, −11, −13, −14 and −16 are targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum and/or Golgi network, AtMAGL10, −12 and −15 to the cytosol and AtMAGL2, −4 and −5 to the chloroplasts. Furthermore, AtMAGL8 was associated with the surface of oil bodies in germinating seeds and leaves accumulating oil bodies. This study provides the broad characterization of one of the least well‐understood groups of Arabidopsis lipid‐related enzymes and will be useful for better understanding their roles in planta.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; MAGL; TAG mobilization; lipase; monoacylglycerol

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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