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AMB Express. 2012; 2: 4.
Published online Jan 4, 2012. doi:  10.1186/2191-0855-2-4
PMCID: PMC3402150
An endogenous factor enhances ferulic acid decarboxylation catalyzed by phenolic acid decarboxylase from Candida guilliermondii
Hui-Kai Huang,1 Li-Fan Chen,2 Masamichi Tokashiki,2 Tadahiro Ozawa,3 Toki Taira,2 and Susumu Itocorresponding author2
1United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
2Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
3Tochigi Research Laboratories of Kao Corporation, Ichikai, Haga, Tochigi 321-3497, Japan
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Hui-Kai Huang: midsummer220/at/gmail.com; Li-Fan Chen: lifan9987/at/gmail.com; Masamichi Tokashiki: sp2m9ab9/at/way.ocn.ne.jp; Tadahiro Ozawa: ozawa.tadahiro/at/kao.co.jp; Toki Taira: tokey/at/agr.u-ryukyu.ac.jp; Susumu Ito: sito/at/agr.u-ryukyu.ac.jp
Received November 23, 2011; Accepted January 4, 2012.
Abstract
The gene for a eukaryotic phenolic acid decarboxylase of Candida guilliermondii was cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli for the first time. The structural gene contained an open reading frame of 504 bp, corresponding to 168 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 19,828 Da. The deduced amino sequence exhibited low similarity to those of functional phenolic acid decarboxylases previously reported from bacteria with 25-39% identity and to those of PAD1 and FDC1 proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae with less than 14% identity. The C. guilliermondii phenolic acid decarboxylase converted the main substrates ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid to the respective corresponding products. Surprisingly, the ultrafiltrate (Mr 10,000-cut-off) of the cell-free extract of C. guilliermondii remarkably activated the ferulic acid decarboxylation by the purified enzyme, whereas it was almost without effect on the p-coumaric acid decarboxylation. Gel-filtration chromatography of the ultrafiltrate suggested that an endogenous amino thiol-like compound with a molecular weight greater than Mr 1,400 was responsible for the activation.
Keywords: phenolic acid decarboxylase, ferulic acid decarboxylase, p-coumaric acid decarboxylase, Candida guilliermondii, activator
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