Hydroxylation of ent-kaurenoic acid to steviol in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni--purification and partial characterization of the enzyme.

Research paper by K K KK Kim, Y Y Sawa, H H Shibata

Indexed on: 15 Aug '96Published on: 15 Aug '96Published in: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics


The diterpenoic compound steviol (ent-kaur-16-en-13-ol-19-oic acid) is the aglycone of sweet glycosides accumulated in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. This compound is the hydroxylated form of ent-kaurenoic acid (ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid; ent-KA). The hydroxylation of ent-KA to form steviol requiring NADPH and molecular oxygen was detected in stroma prepared from S. rebaudiana Bertoni. The enzyme was purified from leaf extract to apparent homogeneity with a molecular mass of 39 kDa. Taken together with the value of 160 kDa estimated for native enzyme, this suggested that the hydroxylating enzyme is a homotetramer. The N-terminal sequence was determined through 20 residues. The pH optimum was 7.5-7.8. Apparent Km values were 11.1 microM for ent-KA and 20.6 microM for NADPH. Its visible absorption spectrum suggested that the enzyme was flavoprotein. The stoichiometric relationship between the formation of steviol and the utilization of ent-KA and cofactors confirmed the equation ent-KA + NADPH + H(+) + O2-->steviol + NADPH(+) + H2O.