News Column

Researchers from Shandong Agricultural University Report on Findings in Bioinformatics

June 18, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Investigators discuss new findings in Biotechnology. According to news originating from Shandong, People's Republic of China, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Homologs of vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKOR) exist widely in plants. However, only VKOR of Arabidopsis thaliana has been the subject of many studies to date."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Shandong Agricultural University, "In the present study, the coding region of a VKOR from Solanum lyco-persicum (JF951971 in GenBank) was cloned; it contained a membrane domain (VKOR domain) and an additional soluble thioredoxin-like (Trx-like) domain. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the first 47 amino acids in the N-terminus should act as a transit peptide targeting the protein to the chloroplast. Western blot demonstrated that the protein is localized in thylakoid membrane with the Trx-like domain facing the lumen. Modeling of three-dimensional structure showed that SlVKOR has a similar conformation with Arabidopsis and cyanobacterial VKORs, with five transmembrane segments in the VKOR domain and a typical Trx-like domain in the lumen. Functional assay showed that the full-length of SlVKOR with Trx-like domain without the transit peptide could catalyze the formation of disulfide bonds. Similar transit peptides at the N-terminus commonly exist in plant VKORs, most of them targeting to chloroplast according to prediction. Comparison of sequences and structures from different plants indicated that all plant VKORs possess two domains, a transmembrane VKOR domain and a soluble Trx-like domain, each having four conservative cysteines."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "The cysteines were predicted to be related to the function of catalyzing the formation of disulfide bonds."

For more information on this research see: Identification and characterization of SlVKOR, a disulfide bond formation protein from Solanum lycopersicum, and bioinformatic analysis of plant VKORs. Biochemistry-Moscow, 2014;79(5):440-449. Biochemistry-Moscow can be contacted at: Maik Nauka, Interperiodica, Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013-1578, USA (see also Biotechnology).

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from C.M. Wan, Shandong Agriculture University, State Key Lab Crop Biol, Tai An 271018, Shandong, People's Republic of China. Additional authors for this research include X.J. Yang, J.J. Du, Y. Lu, Z.B. Yu, Y.G. Feng and X.Y. Wang.

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Ions, Biotechnology, Shandong, Disulfides, Electrolytes, Bioengineering, Inorganic Chemicals, Applied Bioinformatics, People's Republic of China

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Source: Biotech Week

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