• Polymorphism;
  • Wheat;
  • Xylanase inhibitors


Cereals contain proteinaceous inhibitors of endo-β-1,4-xylanases (E.C., xylanases). Since these xylanase inhibitors (XIs) are only active against xylanases of microbial origin and do not interact with plant endogenous xylanases, they are believed to act as a defensive barrier against phytopathogenic attack. So far, three types of XIs have been identified, i.e. Triticum aestivum XI (TAXI), xylanase inhibiting protein (XIP), and thaumatin-like XI (TLXI) proteins. In this study the variation in XI forms present in wheat grain was elucidated using high-resolution 2-DE in combination with LC-ESI-MS/MS and biochemical techniques. Reproducible 2-DE fingerprints of TAXI-, XIP-, and TLXI-type XIs, selectively purified from whole meal of three European wheat cultivars using cation exchange chromatography followed by affinity chromatography, were obtained using a pH-gradient of 6 to 11 and a molecular mass range of 10 to 60 kDa. Large polymorphic XI families, not known to date, which exhibit different pI- and/or molecular mass values, were visualised by colloidal CBB staining. Identification of distinct genetic variants by MS/MS-analysis provides a partial explanation for the observed XI heterogeneity. Besides genetic diversity, PTMs, such as glycosylation, account for the additional complexity of the 2-DE patterns.