Purification and structural analysis of an abundant thaumatin-like protein from ripe banana fruit
Barre, A × Peumans, W J Menu-Bouaouiche, L Van Damme, E J May, G D Herrera, A F Van Leuven, Freddy Rougé, P #
Planta. vol:211 issue:6 pages:791-9
The pulp of ripe bananas (Musa acuminata) contains an abundant thaumatin-like protein (TLP). Characterization of the protein and molecular cloning of the corresponding gene from banana demonstrated that the native protein consists of a single polypeptide chain of 200 amino acid residues. Molecular modelling further revealed that the banana thaumatin-like protein (Ban-TLP) adopts an overall fold similar to that of thaumatin and thaumatin-like PR-5 proteins. Although the banana protein exhibits an electrostatically polarized surface, which is believed to be essential for the antifungal properties of TLPs, it is apparently devoid of antifungal activity towards pathogenic fungi. It exhibits a low but detectable in vitro endo-beta-1,3-glucanase (EC 3.2.1.x) activity. As well as being present in fruits, Ban-TLP also occurs in root tips where its accumulation is enhanced by methyl jasmonate treatment of plants. Pulp of plantains (Musa acuminata) also contains a very similar TLP, which is even more abundant than its banana homologue. Our results demonstrate for the first time that fruit-specific (abundant) TLPs are not confined to dicots but occur also in fruits of monocot species. The possible role of the apparent widespread accumulation of fruit-specific TLPs is discussed.