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Bioinformation. 2012; 8(19): 943–949.
Published online 2012 October 1. doi:  10.6026/97320630008943
PMCID: PMC3488837

Structural characterization of a flavonoid glycosyltransferase from Withania somnifera


Medicinal plants are extensively utilized in traditional and herbal medicines, both in India and around the world due to the presence of diverse low molecular weight natural products such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids and sterols. Flavonoids which have health benefits for humans are the large class of phenylpropanoid-derived secondary metabolites and are mostly glycosylated by UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs). Although large numbers of different UGTs are known from higher plants, very few protein structures have been reported till now. In the present study, the three-dimensional model of flavonoid specific glycosyltransferases (WsFGT) from Withania somnifera was constructed based on the crystal structure of plant UGTs. The resulted model was assessed by various tools and the final refined model revealed GT-B type fold. Further, to understand the sugar donors and acceptors interactions with the active site of WsFGT, docking studies were performed. The amino acids from conserved PSPG box were interacted with sugar donor while His18, Asp110, Trp352 and Asn353 were important for catalytic function. This structural and docking information will be useful to understand the glycosylation mechanism of flavonoid glucosides.


DOPE - Discrete Optimized Potential Energy, PDB - Protein Data Bank, PSPG - Plant Secondary Product Glycosyltransferase, RMSD - Root Mean Squared Deviation, UDP - Uridine diphosphate, UGT - UDP-glycosyltransferases.

Keywords: Flavonoids, Glycosyltransferase, Homology modeling, Docking, Withania somnifera

Articles from Bioinformation are provided here courtesy of Biomedical Informatics Publishing Group