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Journal of Tea Science ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 531-540.doi: 10.13305/j.cnki.jts.2014.06.013

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Research Progress of N- methyltransferases Involved in Caffeine Biosynthesis

YAN Changyu1,2, REN Qiujing1, CHEN Xiaofang1, LI Bin1,*, CHEN Zhongzheng1,*   

  1. 1. College of Food Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China;
    2. Drinkable Plants Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • Received:2014-06-19 Revised:2014-08-18 Online:2014-12-20 Published:2019-09-03

Abstract: Caffeine is one of the main quality and functional components in beverage such as tea, coffee, etc. At present, a xanthosine→7-methylxanthosine→7-methylxanthine→theobromine→caffeine pathway is supported as the major route to caffeine, and it is synthesized through three methylation reactions by N- methyltransferase and a nucleosidase reaction by nucleoside hydrolase. N- methyltransferases(NMTs) are important enzymes in caffeine synthesis process. In this paper, the profile of caffeine in plant and the pathway of caffeine synthesis were introduced, and the research progress on the enzymology properties, gene cloning and expression, the relationship of gene function and structure of NMTs involved in caffeine biosynthesis were mainly reviewed. Finally, the research emphasis in the field for the future was discussed and prospected.

Key words: caffeine, N-methyltransferase, research progress

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