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The Effect of Methylation Modification of MDD on the Expression of Key Genes in the Process of Saponin Synthesis in Eleutherococcus senticosus

Minghui Cui, Limei Lin, Jie Zhang, Xin Song, Shuo Wang, Jing Dong, Xuelei Zhao, Yuehong Long*, Zhaobin Xing*

College of Life Sciences, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan, 063210, China

* Corresponding Authors: Yuehong Long. Email: ; Zhaobin Xing. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Biotechnology of Plant Secondary Metabolites)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2022, 91(12), 2649-2668.


Mevalonate pyrophosphate decarboxylase is a kind of key enzyme in the terpenoid synthesis pathway in Eleutherococcus senticosus. The results of bisulfite sequencing showed that there were three kinds of samples with a low (0.68%), medium (0.72%) and high (0.79%) DNA methylation ratio in the promoter of MDD in E. senticosus, respectively. The transcriptome sequencing results showed that the expression of MDD in E. senticosus was significantly up-regulated in the types with low DNA methylation ratios of MDD (P < 0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between the saponin content in E. senticosus and the DNA methylation ratio of MDD promoter (P < 0.05). The screening results of differentially expressed transcription factors among the three groups with different DNA methylation ratio showed that a total of 4 transcription factors could bind to 6 CpG sites. Protein-protein interaction analysis showed that E. senticosus MDD could interacted with other key enzymes in the process of terpenoid synthesis. In addition, it was found that the DNA methylation of MDD promoter was mainly regulated by DNA methyltransferase. These results demonstrated that under the action of DNA methyltransferase, the changes of DNA methylation of MDD promoter could regulate its own expression level by affecting the combination ability of transcription factors, and then affected the expression of other genes in terpenoid synthesis pathway. The synthesis and accumulation of saponins in E. senticosus was also changed.


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Cite This Article

Cui, M., Lin, L., Zhang, J., Song, X., Wang, S. et al. (2022). The Effect of Methylation Modification of MDD on the Expression of Key Genes in the Process of Saponin Synthesis in Eleutherococcus senticosus. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(12), 2649–2668.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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