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Cangzhu (Atractylodes lancea), a valuable and common traditional Chinese medicinal herb, is primarily used as an effective medicine with various health-promoting effects. The main pharmacological bioactive ingredients in the rhizome of A. lancea are terpenoids. Acetyl-CoA C-acetyltransferase (AACT) is the first enzyme in the terpenoid synthesis pathway and catalyzes two units of acetyl-CoA into acetoacetyl-CoA. The objective of the present work was to clone and identify function of AlAACT from Atractylodes lancea. A full-length cDNA clone of AlAACT was isolated using PCR and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed protein was purified using Ni-NTA agarose column using standard protocols. AlAACT was transiently expressed in N. benthamiana leaves to determine their subcellular location. The difference in growth between recombinant bacteria and control bacteria under different stresses was observed using the droplet plate experiment. In this study, a full-length cDNA of AACT (AlAACT) was cloned from A. lancea, which contains a 1,227 bp open reading frame and encodes a protein with 409 amino acids. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analysis clearly suggested that AlAACT shared high similarity with AACTs from other plants. The recombinant protein pET32a(+)/AlAACT was successfully expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) cells induced with 0.4 mM IPTG at 30°C as the optimized condition. The recombinant enzyme pET-32a-AlAACT was purified using the Ni-NTA column based on the His-tag, and the molecular weight was determined to be 62 kDa through SDS-PAGE and Western Blot analysis. The recombinant protein was eluted with 100, 300, and 500 mM imidazole; most of the protein was eluted with 300 mM imidazole. Under mannitol stress, the recombinant pET-32a- AlAACT protein showed a substantial advantage in terms of growth rates compared to the control. However, this phenomenon was directly opposite under NaCl abiotic stress. Subcellular localization showed that AlAACT localizes to the nucleus and cytoplasm. The expression and purification of recombinant enzyme pET-32a-AlAACT were successful, and the recombinant strain pET-32a-AlAACT in showed better growth in a drought stress. The expression of AlAACT-EGFP fusion protein revealed its localization in both nuclear and cytoplasm compartments. This study provides an important foundation for further research into the effects of terpenoid biosynthesis in A. lancea. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at


Junxian Wu, Weiwei Liu, Jimei Lu, Rui Xu, Jin Xie, Liangping Zha. Cloning, Prokaryotic Expression, and Purification of Acetyl-CoA C-Acetyltransferase from Atractylodes lancea. Protein and peptide letters. 2022;29(2):156-165

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PMID: 34825863

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