A novel high activity cationic ascorbate peroxidase from tea (Camellia sinensis) - A class III peroxidase with unusual substrate specificity

Mamuka Kvaratskhelia, C. Winkel, M. T. Naldrett, R. N.F. Thorneley

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27 Scopus citations


A cationic class III peroxidase (TcAPX II) with the highest reported specific activity (k(cat) = 1,500 μmol min-1 mg-1) for ascorbate as reducing substrate has been isolated from freshly picked tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) in 45 % glycosylated, 55 % non-glycosylated forms. TcAPX II exhibits important structure-function differences with respect to not only conventional class I (e.g. pea cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase) and class III peroxidases (e.g. horseradish peroxidase) but also to another recently characterised class III ascorbate specific enzyme, TcAPX I [Kvaratskhelia et al. Plant Physiol. 144, 1237-1245 (1997)]. TcAPX II has a high preference for ascorbate as a reducing substrate, while TcAPX I oxidises ascorbate and organic phenols at 10-fold lower, but comparable rates. Hydrogen peroxide (100-4,000 fold excess) reacts with the ferric and compound II states of TcAPX II to yield compound II and an inactive type P670 species with no detectable compound III formation. The inactivation rate is comparable with that of horseradish peroxidase but significantly lower than that of pea cytosolic APX. These data together with the instability of TcAPX II compound I (t( 1/2 ) = 5 sec) in the absence of added reducing substrate, suggest that TcAPX II is protected from H2O2 induced inactivation by a catalase like reaction. Partial sequence data for TcAPX II show that recognised structural similarities between class I ascorbate peroxidases and yeast cytochrome c peroxidase (the archetypal class I peroxidase) are not essential for ascorbate peroxidase activity. TcAPX II is a distinct class III peroxidase of generic interest because of its potential to act as a key antioxidant in aerobic stress response in planta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999



  • Astorbate peroxidase
  • Camellia sinensis
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Stress Response
  • Tea
  • Tea polyphenol oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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