Molecular cloning and characterization of rubber biosynthetic genes from taraxacum koksaghyz
Rubber biosynthesis requires the action of specific enzymes known as cis-prenyltransferases (CPTs). These enzymes are responsible for the sequential addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate units to the growing polyisoprene chain, a biochemical reaction thought to be stimulated by the presence of small rubber particle proteins (SRPPs). We have cloned, characterized, and analyzed the expression of three CPT genes (TkCPT1-3) and five SRPP genes (TkSRPP1-5) from the rubber-producing plant Taraxacum koksaghyz. The deduced TkCPT amino acid sequences showed significant levels of sequence identity with Hevea brasiliensis CPTs. We also found no obvious differences between SRPPs from T. koksaghyz, another rubber producer, and a non-rubber plant. The roles of the individual TkCPTs and TkSRRPs in rubber biosynthesis are discussed.