Pectin is one of the three key cell wall polysaccharides in land plants and consists of three major structural domains: homogalacturonan, rhamnogalacturonan I (RG-I) and RG-II. Although the glycosyltransferase required for the synthesis of the homogalacturonan and RG-II backbone was identified a decade ago, those for the synthesis of the RG-I backbone, which consists of the repeating disaccharide unit [→2)-α-l-Rha-(1 → 4)-α-d-GalUA-(1→], have remained unknown. Here, we report the identification and characterization of Arabidopsis RG-I:rhamnosyltransferases (RRTs), which transfer the rhamnose residue from UDP-β-l-rhamnose to RG-I oligosaccharides. RRT1, which is one of the four Arabidopsis RRTs, is a single-spanning transmembrane protein, localized to the Golgi apparatus. RRT1 was highly expressed during formation of the seed coat mucilage, which is a specialized cell wall with abundant RG-I. Loss-of-function mutation in RRT1 caused a reduction in the level of RG-I in the seed coat mucilage. The RRTs belong to a novel glycosyltransferase family, now designated GT106. This is a large plant-specific family, and glycosyltransferases in this family seem to have plant-specific roles, such as biosynthesis of plant cell wall polysaccharides.
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We thank S. Tominaga for technical assistance. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (no. 15H01241 and 18H05495 to T.I.) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (no. 15H05776 to I.H.-N.) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The study was also supported by the Program for the Third-Phase R-GIRO Research from the Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University, to T.I.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Takenaka, Y., Kato, K., Ogawa-Ohnishi, M. et al. Pectin RG-I rhamnosyltransferases represent a novel plant-specific glycosyltransferase family. Nature Plants 4, 669–676 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0217-7
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