Cloning and characterization of mevalonate pathway genes in a natural rubber producing plant, hevea brasiliensis

Tomoki Sando, Chika Takaoka, Yukio Mukai, Atsushi Yamashita, Masahira Hattori, Naotake Ogasawara, Eiichiro Fukusaki*, Akio Kobayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Hevea brasiliensis Müll. Arg. is a tree that produces natural rubber, an industrially vital isoprenoid polymer. Biosynthesis of natural rubber is known to take place biochemically by a mevalonate (MVA) pathway, but molecular biological characterization of related genes has been insufficient. From H. brasiliensis, we obtained full-length cDNA of genes encoding all of the enzymes that catalyze the six steps of the MVA pathway. Alignment analysis and phylogenetic analysis revealed that in H. brasiliensis there are three acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase genes, two HMG-CoA synthase (HMGS) genes, and four HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) genes. Gene expression analysis by type of tissue indicated that MVA pathway genes were highly expressed in latex, as compared to other types of tissue and that HMGS and HMGR, which exist in multiple copies, have different expression patterns. Moreover, these MVA pathway genes in H. brasiliensis were found to complement MVA pathway deletion mutations in yeast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2060
Number of pages12
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • cis-polyisoprene
  • Hevea brasiliensis
  • Mevalonate (MVA) pathway
  • Natural rubber
  • Yeast complementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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