The Combined Use of Proteomics and Transcriptomics Reveals a Complex Secondary Metabolite Network in Peperomia obtusifolia

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2017-05-26

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Peperomia obtusifolia, an ornamental plant from the Piperaceae family, accumulates a series of secondary metabolites with interesting biological properties. From a biosynthesis standpoint, this species produces several benzopyrans derived from orsellinic acid, which is a polyketide typically found in fungi. Additionally, the chiral benzopyrans were reported as racemic and/or as diastereomeric mixtures, which raises questions about the level of enzymatic control in the cyclization step for the formation of the 3,4-dihydro-2H-pyran moiety. Therefore, this article describes the use of shotgun proteomic and transcriptome studies as well as phytochemical profiling for the characterization of the main biosynthesis pathways active in P. obtusifolia. This combined approach resulted in the identification of a series of proteins involved in its secondary metabolism, including tocopherol cyclase and prenyltransferases. The activity of these enzymes was supported by the phytochemical profiling performed in different organs of P. obtusifolia. However, the polyketide synthases possibly involved in the production of orsellinic acid could not be identified, suggesting that orsellinic acid may be produced by endophytes intimately associated with the plant.

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Journal of Natural Products, v. 80, n. 5, p. 1275-1286, 2017.

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