Functional characterization of sphingolipid C4-hydroxylase genes from Arabidopsis thaliana

FEBS Lett. 2001 Apr 6;494(1-2):90-4. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02332-8.


In the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, two genes were identified encoding isoenzymes for C4-hydroxylation of long chain bases (LCB) in plant sphingolipids. Both predicted proteins consist of 258 amino acid residues (77% identity) which show sequence similarity to di-iron-binding enzymes, such as Sur2p and Erg3p from yeast, involved in oxygen-dependent lipid modifications. Heterologous expression of these genes in a yeast sur2Delta-null mutant lacking C4-LCB hydroxylation resulted in the formation of D-ribo-C(18)- and -C(20)-phytosphinganine. The identity and stereochemical configuration of the isolated trihydroxybases was confirmed by electrospray ionization-mass spectroscopy, gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These results represent the first functional identification of SUR2 genes from plants as well as from any organism other than yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Plant
  • Fatty Acid Desaturases / genetics
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Genes, Plant / physiology*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / biosynthesis*


  • DNA, Plant
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • SUR2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Fatty Acid Desaturases
  • phytosphingosine
  • Sphingosine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AC012188
  • GENBANK/AC013289