Development of antibodies for characterizing the Arabidopsis flavonoid biosynthetic pathway

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Virginia Tech

Polyclonal antibodies against the first two enzymes of the Arabidopsis thaliana flavonoid biosynthetic pathway were developed using conventional and phage antibody technology. cDNAs from Arabidopsis coding regions of chalcone synthase (CHS) and chalcone isomerase (CHI) were sub-cloned in frame into a bacterial expression vector as fusions with glutathione Stransferase (GST) using standard directional cloning techniques. Analysis of crude extracts of Escherichia coli containing GST .. CHS or GST .. CHI fusion protein indicated that the cells expressed equivalent amounts per volume of culture. CHS and CHI were purified to near homogeneity, yielding approximately 100 micrograms of GST .. CHS and 1 milligram of GST-CHI per liter of culture. The purified fusion proteins were injected into chickens and polyclonal lgY·s were purified from egg yolk Accumulation of CHS and CHI, as well as products of the pathway, were compared during the first eight days of Arabidopsis development. CHS and CHI are sequentially induced and reach maximal accumulation levels by day 5. Anthocyanidin levels are offset by one reaching maximal levels at day 6. The fusion proteins were also used to screen a phage-display library for Fabl fragments that recognize CHS and CHI epitopes. Preliminary data indicated that enrichment of phage displaying antibodies against CHS and CHI was successful. Phage-derived antibodies against CHS and CHI provide valuable tools for future experiments addressing Western blot analysis, immunolocalization experiments, and disruption of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway by introduction of the corresponding genes into transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

Arabidopsis thaliana, chalcone synthasea, chalcone isomerase, flavonoids, phage display technology