alexa Biosynthesis of novel carotenoid families based on unnatural carbon backbones: a model for diversification of natural product pathways.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Transcriptomics: Open Access

Author(s): Tobias AV, Arnold FH

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Abstract We show that the C40 carotenoid desaturase CrtI from Pantoea ananatis (Erwinia uredovora) is capable of desaturating unnaturally long C45 and C50 carotenoid backbones in recombinant E. coli. Desaturation step number in these pathways is not very specific, and at least ten new C45 and C50 carotenoids were synthesized. We also present evidence for a novel asymmetric C40 backbone formed by the condensation of farnesyl diphosphate (C15PP) with farnesylgeranyl diphosphate (C25PP), and the subsequent desaturation of this backbone by CrtI in an atypical manner. Under some conditions, the C40, C45, and C50 carotenoid backbones synthesized in E. coli were monohydroxylated; their desaturation by CrtI in vitro led to yet more novel carotenoids. Challenging CrtI with larger-than-natural substrates in vivo has allowed us to show that this enzyme regulates desaturation step number by sensing the end groups of its substrate. Analysis of the mechanisms by which chemical diversity is generated and propagated through the nascent pathways provides insight into how natural product diversification occurs in nature. This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta and referenced in Transcriptomics: Open Access

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