Speeckaert, N, El Jaziri, M, Behr, M. , Baucher, M. et al. (2020) Characterization of the UDP-glycosyltransferase UGT72 Family in Poplar and Identification of Genes Involved in the Glycosylation of Monolignols. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21 (14)
Monolignols are the building blocks for lignin polymerization in the apoplastic domain. Monolignol biosynthesis, transport, storage, glycosylation, and deglycosylation are the main biological processes partaking in their homeostasis. In Arabidopsis thaliana, members of the uridine diphosphate-dependent glucosyltransferases UGT72E and UGT72B subfamilies have been demonstrated to glycosylate monolignols. Here, the poplar UGT72 family, which is clustered into four groups, was characterized: Group 1 UGT72AZ1 and UGT72AZ2, homologs of Arabidopsis UGT72E1-3, as well as group 4 UGT72B37 and UGT72B39, homologs of Arabidopsis UGT72B1-3, glycosylate monolignols. In addition, promoter-GUS analyses indicated that poplar UGT72 members are expressed within vascular tissues. At the subcellular level, poplar UGT72s belonging to group 1 and group 4 were found to be associated with the nucleus and the endoplasmic reticulum. However, UGT72A2, belonging to group 2, was localized in bodies associated with chloroplasts, as well as possibly in chloroplasts. These results show a partial conservation of substrate recognition between Arabidopsis and poplar homologs, as well as divergent functions between different groups of the UGT72 family, for which the substrates remain unknown.