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Biosynthetic investigation of ¿-lactones in Sextonia rubra wood using in situ TOF-SIMS MS/MS imaging to localize and characterize biosynthetic intermediates

Fu T., Houël E., Amusant N., Touboul D., Genta-Jouve G., Della Negra S., Fisher G.L., Brunelle A., Duplais C.. 2019. Scientific Reports, 9 : 11 p..

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-37577-5

Molecular analysis by parallel tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) imaging contributes to the in situ characterization of biosynthetic intermediates which is crucial for deciphering the metabolic pathways in living organisms. We report the first use of TOF-SIMS MS/MS imaging for the cellular localization and characterization of biosynthetic intermediates of bioactive ¿-lactones rubrynolide and rubrenolide in the Amazonian tree Sextonia rubra (Lauraceae). Five ¿-lactones, including previously reported rubrynolide and rubrenolide, were isolated using a conventional approach and their structural characterization and localization at a lateral resolution of ~400¿nm was later achieved using TOF-SIMS MS/MS imaging analysis. 2D/3D MS imaging at subcellular level reveals that putative biosynthetic ¿-lactones intermediates are localized in the same cell types (ray parenchyma cells and oil cells) as rubrynolide and rubrenolide. Consequently, a revised metabolic pathway of rubrynolide was proposed, which involves the reaction between 2-hydroxysuccinic acid and 3-oxotetradecanoic acid, contrary to previous studies suggesting a single polyketide precursor. Our results provide insights into plant metabolite production in wood tissues and, overall, demonstrate that combining high spatial resolution TOF-SIMS imaging and MS/MS structural characterization offers new opportunities for studying molecular and cellular biochemistry in plants.

Mots-clés : bois; composition chimique; guyane française; france; sextonia rubra

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