2018 Volume 35 Issue 4 Pages 375-379
Miraculin is a promising protein with taste-modifying properties. Focusing on the unique function and potential of miraculin, recombinant miraculin production has been explored with the use of heterologous expression systems, but the activities of recombinant miraculins were much lower than those of native miraculin, probably due to the difference in post-translational modification, especially N-glycosylation. For practical use therefore, the differences between N-glycan of recombinant miraculin compared to that of native miraculin should be minimized. Here, to establish the platform for functional miraculin production, we expressed miraculin in tomato plants with the same taste-modifying activity as native miraculin purified from miracle fruit, and we compared the N-glycan structures with those of native miraculin. Our N-glycan structural analysis using purified miraculin, followed by hydrazynolysis, 2-pyridylamine (PA)-labeling, high-performance liquid chromatography, and a liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry analysis revealed that both the native and recombinant miraculins carried an M3 structure as a predominant structure and that most of the N-glycan structures on the miraculins were pauci-mannosidic structures with a smaller amount of plant-specific α1,3-fucosylated and/or β1,2-xylosylated N-glycans and without a Lewis a epitope. These results indicate that the N-glycoform of native miraculin from miracle fruit and recombinant miraculin expressed in tomato plants are almost identical to each other with similar ratios and that, therefore, plant-specific N-glycans are essential for showing the full taste-modifying activity of miraculin.