Expression of Castor LPAT2 Enhances Ricinoleic Acid Content at the sn-2 Position of Triacylglycerols in Lesquerella Seed

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Apr 6;17(4):507. doi: 10.3390/ijms17040507.


Lesquerella is a potential industrial oilseed crop that makes hydroxy fatty acid (HFA). Unlike castor its seeds are not poisonous but accumulate lesquerolic acid mostly at the sn-1 and sn-3 positions of triacylglycerol (TAG), whereas castor contains ricinoleic acid (18:1OH) at all three positions. To investigate whether lesquerella can be engineered to accumulate HFAs in the sn-2 position, multiple transgenic lines were made that express castor lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase 2 (RcLPAT2) in the seed. RcLPAT2 increased 18:1OH at the sn-2 position of TAGs from 2% to 14%-17%, which resulted in an increase of tri-HFA-TAGs from 5% to 13%-14%. Our result is the first example of using a LPAT to increase ricinoleic acid at the sn-2 position of seed TAG. This work provides insights to the mechanism of HFA-containing TAG assembly in lesquerella and directs future research to optimize this plant for HFA production.

Keywords: Physaria fendleri; hydroxy fatty acid; lesquerella; lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase; metabolic engineering; seed triacylglycerol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / genetics*
  • Acyltransferases / metabolism
  • Brassicaceae / chemistry
  • Brassicaceae / genetics*
  • Brassicaceae / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / genetics
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Ricinoleic Acids / analysis
  • Ricinoleic Acids / metabolism*
  • Ricinus / genetics
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / chemistry
  • Triglycerides / genetics
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Fatty Acids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Ricinoleic Acids
  • Triglycerides
  • Acyltransferases
  • 2-acylglycerophosphate acyltransferase
  • ricinoleic acid