Protein Modelling Highlighted Key Catalytic Sites Involved in Position-Specific Glycosylation of Isoflavonoids

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Uridine diphosphate glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are known for promiscuity towards sugar acceptors, a valuable characteristic for host plants but not desirable for heterologous biosynthesis. UGTs characterized for the O-glycosylation of isoflavonoids have shown a variable efficiency, substrate preference, and OH site specificity. Thus, 22 UGTs with reported isoflavonoid O-glycosylation activity were analyzed and ranked for OH site specificity and catalysis efficiency. Multiple-sequence alignment (MSA) showed a 33.2% pairwise identity and 4.5% identical sites among selected UGTs. MSA and phylogenetic analysis highlighted a comparatively higher amino acid substitution rate in the N-terminal domain that likely led to a higher specificity for isoflavonoids. Based on the docking score, OH site specificity, and physical and chemical features of active sites, selected UGTs were divided into three groups. A significantly high pairwise identity (67.4%) and identical sites (31.7%) were seen for group 1 UGTs. The structural and chemical composition of active sites highlighted key amino acids that likely define substrate preference, OH site specificity, and glycosylation efficiency towards selected (iso)flavonoids. In conclusion, physical and chemical parameters of active sites likely control the position-specific glycosylation of isoflavonoids. The present study will help the heterologous biosynthesis of glycosylated isoflavonoids and protein engineering efforts to improve the substrate and site specificity of UGTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12356
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2023


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