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Stable isotope labeling and 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-d-glucopyranoside biosynthetic pathway characterization in Fallopia multiflora

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Main conclusion

The THSG biosynthetic pathway in F. multiflora was characterized, and enzymatic activities responsible for the resveratrol synthesis, hydroxylation, and glycosylation reactions involved in THSG biosynthesis were confirmed in vitro.

The biosynthetic origin of 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (THSG) and the enzymes involved in THSG biosynthesis in Fallopia multiflora were studied using stable isotope labeling and biocatalytic methods. UPLC-MS-based analyses were used to unravel the isotopologue composition of the biosynthetic intermediates and products, as well as to detect the products of the enzyme assay experiments. In this study, 13C-labeled l-phenylalanine (l-PHE), sodium pyruvate (SP), and sodium bicarbonate (SB) were used as putative precursors in the feeding experiment. Labeling of polydatin (PD) and THSG using [13C9]L-PHE and [13C1]l-PHE confirmed that the p-coumaric moiety of PD and THSG was derived from PHE. The results of the feeding experiments with [13C] SB and [2, 3-13C2] SP suggested that PD and THSG were derivatives of resveratrol that were synthesized by glycosylation and hydroxylation. We developed methods using total crude protein extracts (soluble and microsomal) for comprehensive and simultaneous analysis of resveratrol synthase, glycosyltransferase, and hydroxylase activities in various tissue types of wild F. multiflora and callus cultures. The activity of each tested enzyme was confirmed in one or more tissue types or cell cultures in vitro. The results of the enzyme activity experiments and the distributions of PD and THSG were used to determine the main site and pathway of THSG biosynthesis in F. multiflora.

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Fig. 1
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Sodium pyruvate


Sodium bicarbonate




Resveratrol synthase




Stilbene synthase


Uridine 5′-diphosphoglucose disodium salt


β-Micotinamide adenine dinucleotide 2′-phosphate reduced tetrasodium salt


Cinnamic acid


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Correspondence to Shujin Zhao.

Electronic supplementary material

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Online Resource 1 Extracted ion chromatogram of PD (A), THSG (B), piceatannol (C) and resveratrol (D) Mass spectra under ESI (–) mode of PD (a), THSG (b), piceatannol (c) and resveratrol (d) (TIFF 2220 kb)

Online Resource 2 Total protein concentration of the crude extracts from wild F. multiflora tissues and callus (TIFF 17684 kb)

Online Resource 3 Effects of the UDPG concentration on the piceatannol glycosyltransferase activity of the crude enzyme extract from the roots. The concentration of piceatannol was 40 μM (TIFF 80567 kb)

Online Resource 4 Effects of the piceatannol concentration on the piceatannol glycosyltransferase activity of the crude enzyme extract from the roots. The concentration of UDPG was 0.5 mM (TIFF 78003 kb)

Online Resource 5 Identification of products of enzyme assay experiments (DOCX 15 kb)

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Xia, W., Rui, W., Zhao, W. et al. Stable isotope labeling and 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-d-glucopyranoside biosynthetic pathway characterization in Fallopia multiflora . Planta 247, 613–623 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-017-2797-2

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  • 13C-labeled precursor
  • Glycosylation
  • Hydroxylation
  • Enzyme assay
  • Resveratrol synthase