A Novel Plant Protein-disulfide Isomerase Involved in the Oxidative Folding of Cystine Knot Defense Proteins Academic Article uri icon


  • We have isolated a protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI) from Oldenlandia affinis (OaPDI), a coffee family (Rubiaceae) plant that accumulates knotted circular proteins called cyclotides. The novel plant PDI appears to be involved in the biosynthesis of cyclotides, since it co-expresses and interacts with the cyclotide precursor protein Oak1. OaPDI exhibits similar isomerase activity but greater chaperone activity than human PDI. Since domain c of OaPDI is predicted to have a neutral pI, we conclude that this domain does not have to be acidic in nature for PDI to be a functional chaperone. Its redox potential of -157 +/- 4 mV supports a role as a functional oxidoreductase in the plant. The mechanism of enzyme-assisted folding of plant cyclotides was investigated by comparing the folding of kalata B1 derivatives in the presence and absence of OaPDI. OaPDI dramatically enhanced the correct oxidative folding of kalata B1 at physiological pH. A detailed investigation of folding intermediates suggested that disulfide isomerization is an important role of the new plant PDI and is an essential step in the production of insecticidal cyclotides. The nucleotide sequence(s) reported in this paper have been submitted to the GenBank/EBI Data Bank with accession number(s) 911777.

publication date

  • July 13, 2007