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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 526; doi:10.3390/ijms18030526

β-N-Oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic Acid (β-ODAP) Content in Lathyrus sativus: The Integration of Nitrogen and Sulfur Metabolism through β-Cyanoalanine Synthase

1
College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
3
Plant Genetics Research Unit, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, 108 Curtis Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2522 KB, uploaded 28 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) is an important legume crop grown mainly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This underutilized legume can withstand harsh environmental conditions including drought and flooding. During drought-induced famines, this protein-rich legume serves as a food source for poor farmers when other crops fail under harsh environmental conditions; however, its use is limited because of the presence of an endogenous neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid β-N-oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP). Long-term consumption of Lathyrus and β-ODAP is linked to lathyrism, which is a degenerative motor neuron syndrome. Pharmacological studies indicate that nutritional deficiencies in methionine and cysteine may aggravate the neurotoxicity of β-ODAP. The biosynthetic pathway leading to the production of β-ODAP is poorly understood, but is linked to sulfur metabolism. To date, only a limited number of studies have been conducted in grass pea on the sulfur assimilatory enzymes and how these enzymes regulate the biosynthesis of β-ODAP. Here, we review the current knowledge on the role of sulfur metabolism in grass pea and its contribution to β-ODAP biosynthesis. Unraveling the fundamental steps and regulation of β-ODAP biosynthesis in grass pea will be vital for the development of improved varieties of this underutilized legume. View Full-Text
Keywords: β-cyanoalanine synthase; β-ODAP; Lathyrus sativus; nitrogen; sulfur β-cyanoalanine synthase; β-ODAP; Lathyrus sativus; nitrogen; sulfur
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Xu, Q.; Liu, F.; Chen, P.; Jez, J.M.; Krishnan, H.B. β-N-Oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic Acid (β-ODAP) Content in Lathyrus sativus: The Integration of Nitrogen and Sulfur Metabolism through β-Cyanoalanine Synthase. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 526.

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