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Antioxidants, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The phenolic composition of virgin olive oil is strongly determined by the content and distribution [...] Read more. The phenolic composition of virgin olive oil is strongly determined by the content and distribution of secoiridoid phenolic glycosides present in the olive fruit. Oleuropein, containing a hydroxytyrosol residue, is the most important phenolic compound in olive fruit and hydroxytyrosol is the phenolic component responsible for most of the health-promoting properties of virgin olive oil. An aromatic aldehyde synthase gene (OeAAS) was identified, synthesized, and expressed in Escherichia coli by coupling metabolic analyses and transcriptomic data from different olive cultivars with divergent phenolic profiles. Functional characterization studies demonstrate that OeAAS is a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-DOPA into 3,4-DHPAA, the aldehyde precursor of hydroxytyrosol. The results support that OeAAS a key role in the accumulation of hydroxytyrosol-derived compounds in olive fruit and virgin olive oil. View