Identification of marneral synthase, which is critical for growth and development in Arabidopsis

Young S. Go, Saet B. Lee, Hae J. Kim, Jungmook Kim, Hyo Young Park, Jeong Kook Kim, Kyomi Shibata, Takao Yokota, Kiyoshi Ohyama, Toshiya Muranaka, Siméon Arseniyadis, Mi C. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Plants produce structurally diverse triterpenoids, which are important for their life and survival. Most triterpenoids and sterols share a common biosynthetic intermediate, 2,3-oxidosqualene (OS), which is cyclized by 2,3-oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC). To investigate the role of an OSC, marneral synthase 1 (MRN1), in planta, we characterized a Arabidopsis mrn1 knock-out mutant displaying round-shaped leaves, late flowering, and delayed embryogenesis. Reduced growth of mrn1 was caused by inhibition of cell expansion and elongation. Marnerol, a reduced form of marneral, was detected in Arabidopsis overexpressing MRN1, but not in the wild type or mrn1. Alterations in the levels of sterols and triterpenols and defects in membrane integrity and permeability were observed in the mrn1. In addition, GUS expression, under the control of the MRN1 gene promoter, was specifically detected in shoot and root apical meristems, which are responsible for primary growth, and the mRNA expression of Arabidopsis clade II OSCs was preferentially observed in roots and siliques containing developing seeds. The eGFP:MRN1 was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in tobacco protoplasts. Taken together, this report provides evidence that the unusual triterpenoid pathway via marneral synthase is important for the growth and development of Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-804
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • Arabidopsis
  • growth and development
  • marneral synthase
  • marnerol
  • oxidosqualene cyclase
  • triterpenols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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