Steviol and steviol-glycoside: glucosyltransferase activities in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni--purification and partial characterization.

Research paper by H H Shibata, Y Y Sawa, T T Oka, S S Sonoke, K K KK Kim, M M Yoshioka

Indexed on: 20 Aug '95Published on: 20 Aug '95Published in: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics


The leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni contain sweet compounds which are glycosides of diterpene derivative steviol (ent-13-hydroxykaur-16-en-19-oic acid). Its main constituents are stevioside (triglucosylated steviol; 13-O-beta-sophorosyl-19-O-beta-glucosyl-steviol) and rebaudioside-A (tetraglucosylated steviol; 2'-O-beta-glucosyl-13-O-beta-sophorosyl-19-O-beta-glucosyl-stev iol). From the extracts of S. rebaudiana Bertoni, two glucosyltransferases (GTases I and IIB) acting on steviol and steviol-glycosides were isolated, and another distinct activity (GTase IIA) acting on steviol was detected. Purified GTase I (subunit M(r) 24,600) catalyzed glucose transfer from UDP-glucose to steviol and steviolmonoside (steviol-13-O-glucopyranoside), but not to other steviol-glycosides. Apparent Km values were 71.4 microM for steviol and 360 microM for UDP-glucose. GTase IIB (subunit M(r) 30,700) showed a broad substrate specificity, acting on steviol, steviolmonoside, steviolbioside (13-O-beta-sophorosyl-steviol), and stevioside. Apparent Km values were 182 microM for steviol, 44 microM for steviolbioside, 95 microM for stevioside, and 385 microM for UDP-glucose. The two enzymes had a similar optimum pH at 6.5. They also acted effectively on ubiquitous flavonol aglycones, quercetin, and kaempferol and utilized kaempferol at a higher rate than steviol and steviol-glycosides. The apparent Km values of GTase I and IIB for kaempferol were 12 and 31 microM, respectively.