Xianpeng Yang, co-first author of “An ancestral role for 3-KETOACYL-COA SYNTHASE3 as a negative regulator of plant cuticular wax synthesis”
Current Position: Lecturer at Shandong Normal University
Education: Ph.D., Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Non-scientific Interests: Cooking, woodworking and sports
Brief bio: During 2013-2017, I joined Prof. Shiyou Lü’s research group in Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a Ph.D. candidate. During 2018-2019, I worked as a postdoc in the same lab. In September 2019, I relocated to Shandong Normal University. In recent years, my research interest is the molecular mechanism of plant cuticular wax biosynthesis and regulation. Several wax-related genes in Arabidopsis have been identified in my work, including CER17/ADS4, CER16, BWD1/AAE9, FAO3 and FAO4b.
β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase (KCS) is a key enzyme in plant to catalyze the synthesis of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA). In Arabidopsis, several KCS proteins (including KCS6) have been identified to catalyze the production of VLCFA directly, which is the precursor of cuticular wax. However, some KCSs (including KCS3) lacking catalytic activity and their functions were unclear. In this study, we found although KCS3 cannot directly catalyze the VLCFA synthesis, it can interact with KCS6 to reduce its enzymatic activity and negatively regulate the production of VLCFA and wax in Arabidopsis under normal and water-deficit conditions. Furthermore, a similar KCS3-KCS6 module was found in the early diverging land plant moss Physcomitrium, suggesting this regulatory mechanism is highly conserved across the land plants.
β-酮脂酰辅酶A合成酶（β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, KCS）是植物中催化超长链脂肪酸（very-long-chain fatty acids，VLCFA）合成的关键酶。目前，拟南芥中已鉴定多个KCS蛋白（包括KCS6），可直接催化生成VLCFA，作为前体用于蜡质合成。但也有一些KCS蛋白的催化活性极低且功能未知，其中包括KCS3。在本研究中，我们发现尽管KCS3不能直接催化VLCFA合成，但可通过与KCS6特异相互作用，从而降低KCS6的酶活性，最终负调控拟南芥在正常条件和缺水胁迫下的VLCFA合成和蜡质积累。不仅如此，在古老的陆生植物苔藓中也存在着类似机制，表明该KCS3-KCS6蜡质调控模块在陆生植物中高度保守。