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See detailImpact of oxidative stress on ascorbate biosynthesis in Chlamydomonas via regulation of the VTC2 gene encoding a GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase
Urzica, E. I.; Adler, Lital N.; Page, M. D. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2012), 287(17), 14234-45

The L-galactose (Smirnoff-Wheeler) pathway represents the major route to L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) biosynthesis in higher plants. Arabidopsis thaliana VTC2 and its paralogue VTC5 function as GDP-L ... [more ▼]

The L-galactose (Smirnoff-Wheeler) pathway represents the major route to L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) biosynthesis in higher plants. Arabidopsis thaliana VTC2 and its paralogue VTC5 function as GDP-L-galactose phosphorylases converting GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose-1-P, thus catalyzing the first committed step in the biosynthesis of L-ascorbate. Here we report that the L-galactose pathway of ascorbate biosynthesis described in higher plants is conserved in green algae. The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii genome encodes all the enzymes required for vitamin C biosynthesis via the L-galactose pathway. We have characterized recombinant C. reinhardtii VTC2 as an active GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase. C. reinhardtii cells exposed to oxidative stress show increased VTC2 mRNA and L-ascorbate levels. Genes encoding enzymatic components of the ascorbate-glutathione system (e.g. ascorbate peroxidase, Mn superoxide dismutase, dehydroascorbate reductase) are also up-regulated in response to increased oxidative stress. These results indicate that C. reinhardtii VTC2, like its plant homologs, is a highly regulated enzyme in ascorbate biosynthesis in green algae and that, together with the ascorbate recycling system, the L-galactose pathway represents the major route for providing protective levels of ascorbate in oxidatively stressed algal cells. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase involved in quality control of the nucleoside diphosphate sugar pool in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals
Adler, Lital N.; Gomez, Tara A.; Clarke, Steven G. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2011), 286(24), 21511-23

The plant VTC2 gene encodes GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, a rate-limiting enzyme in plant vitamin C biosynthesis. Genes encoding apparent orthologs of VTC2 exist in both mammals, which produce vitamin C ... [more ▼]

The plant VTC2 gene encodes GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, a rate-limiting enzyme in plant vitamin C biosynthesis. Genes encoding apparent orthologs of VTC2 exist in both mammals, which produce vitamin C by a distinct metabolic pathway, and in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans where vitamin C biosynthesis has not been demonstrated. We have now expressed cDNAs of the human and worm VTC2 homolog genes (C15orf58 and C10F3.4, respectively) and found that the purified proteins also display GDP-hexose phosphorylase activity. However, as opposed to the plant enzyme, the major reaction catalyzed by these enzymes is the phosphorolysis of GDP-D-glucose to GDP and D-glucose 1-phosphate. We detected activities with similar substrate specificity in worm and mouse tissue extracts. The highest expression of GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase was found in the nervous and male reproductive systems. A C. elegans C10F3.4 deletion strain was found to totally lack GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase activity; this activity was also found to be decreased in human HEK293T cells transfected with siRNAs against the human C15orf58 gene. These observations confirm the identification of the worm C10F3.4 and the human C15orf58 gene expression products as the GDP-D-glucose phosphorylases of these organisms. Significantly, we found an accumulation of GDP-D-glucose in the C10F3.4 mutant worms, suggesting that the GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase may function to remove GDP-D-glucose formed by GDP-D-mannose pyrophosphorylase, an enzyme that has previously been shown to lack specificity for its physiological D-mannose 1-phosphate substrate. We propose that such removal may prevent the misincorporation of glucosyl residues for mannosyl residues into the glycoconjugates of worms and mammals. [less ▲]

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See detailA second GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase in Arabidopsis en route to vitamin C covalent intermediate and substrate requirements for the conserved reaction
Linster, Carole UL; Adler, Lital N.; Webb, Kristofor et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2008), 283(27), 18483-92

The Arabidopsis thaliana VTC2 gene encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose 1-phosphate in the first committed step of the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway to plant ... [more ▼]

The Arabidopsis thaliana VTC2 gene encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose 1-phosphate in the first committed step of the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway to plant vitamin C synthesis. Mutations in VTC2 had previously been found to lead to only partial vitamin C deficiency. Here we show that the Arabidopsis gene At5g55120 encodes an enzyme with high sequence identity to VTC2. Designated VTC5, this enzyme displays substrate specificity and enzymatic properties that are remarkably similar to those of VTC2, suggesting that it may be responsible for residual vitamin C synthesis in vtc2 mutants. The exact nature of the reaction catalyzed by VTC2/VTC5 is controversial because of reports that kiwifruit and Arabidopsis VTC2 utilize hexose 1-phosphates as phosphorolytic acceptor substrates. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy and a VTC2-H238N mutant, we provide evidence that the reaction proceeds through a covalent guanylylated histidine residue within the histidine triad motif. Moreover, we show that both the Arabidopsis VTC2 and VTC5 enzymes catalyze simple phosphorolysis of the guanylylated enzyme, forming GDP and L-galactose 1-phosphate from GDP-L-galactose and phosphate, with poor reactivity of hexose 1-phosphates as phosphorolytic acceptors. Indeed, the endogenous activities from Japanese mustard spinach, lemon, and spinach have the same substrate requirements. These results show that Arabidopsis VTC2 and VTC5 proteins and their homologs in other plants are enzymes that guanylylate a conserved active site His residue with GDP-L-galactose, forming L-galactose 1-phosphate for vitamin C synthesis, and regenerate the enzyme with phosphate to form GDP. [less ▲]

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See detailArabidopsis VTC2 encodes a GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, the last unknown enzyme in the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway to ascorbic acid in plants
Linster, Carole UL; Gomez, Tara A.; Christensen, Kathryn C. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2007), 282(26), 18879-85

The first committed step in the biosynthesis of L-ascorbate from D-glucose in plants requires conversion of GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose 1-phosphate by a previously unidentified enzyme. Here we show ... [more ▼]

The first committed step in the biosynthesis of L-ascorbate from D-glucose in plants requires conversion of GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose 1-phosphate by a previously unidentified enzyme. Here we show that the protein encoded by VTC2, a gene mutated in vitamin C-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana strains, is a member of the GalT/Apa1 branch of the histidine triad protein superfamily that catalyzes the conversion of GDP-L-galactose to L-galactose 1-phosphate in a reaction that consumes inorganic phosphate and produces GDP. In characterizing recombinant VTC2 from A. thaliana as a specific GDP-L-galactose/GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase, we conclude that enzymes catalyzing each of the ten steps of the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway from glucose to ascorbate have been identified. Finally, we identify VTC2 homologs in plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, suggesting that a similar reaction is used widely in nature. [less ▲]

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