Cell cultures of Linum species store 6-methoxypodophyllotoxin (MPTOX), podophyllotoxin (PTOX) and related lignans as O-glucosides. UDP-glucose:(M)PTOX 7-O-glucosyltransferase has been detected and characterised in protein preparations of suspension-cultured cells of Linum nodiflorum L. (Linaceae). The maximal lignan glucoside contents in the cells are preceded by a rapid increase of the specific glucosyltransferase activity on day six of the culture period. MPTOX glucoside is the major lignan with up to 1.18 mg g of the cell dry wt which is more than 30-fold of the PTOX glucoside content. Of the three aryltetralin lignans tested as substrates, PTOX and MPTOX display comparable apparent K values of 4.7 and 5.4 µM, respectively. 5'-Demethoxy-6-methoxypodophyllotoxin is converted with the highest velocity of 25.2 pkat mg while also possessing a higher K of 14.7 µM. Two-substrate test series indicate that all three compounds compete for the active site of a single protein. The structurally similar lignan ß-peltatin acts as competitive inhibitor as well. However, the 6-O-glucosidation is most likely catalysed by a separate enzyme. The (M)PTOX 7-O-glucosyltransferase works best at a pH around 9 and a temperature around 35 °C. A 15-30% increase of the reaction rate is effected by the addition of 0.9 mM Mn.
- Linum nodiflorum L.