New enzyme gene required for the formation of specific configurations of microbial secondary metabolites

April 28, 2015

Toward a better understanding of biosynthetic mechanisms for structurally complex secondary metabolites

RIKEN CSRS and Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology researchers have discovered a new enzyme gene that is involved in the selective production of microbial metabolites with a specific configuration.

The joint research group focused on a secondary metabolite, equisetin, produced by some filamentous fungi. They identified the gene cluster involved in its biosynthesis then generated deletion mutants to analyze the functions of each gene in the clusters, which revealed that the fsa2 gene controls the stereochemistry of decalin ring formation via the Diels-Alder reaction in the equisetin biosynthetic pathway.

Further investigation will be needed to clarify how Fsa2 controls the Diels-Alder reaction, leading to a better understanding of how complex structures of secondary metabolites are selectively formed in a stereospecific manner.


Original article
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.03.011
N. Kato, T. Nogawa, H. Hirota, J.-H. Jang, S. Takahashi, J. S. Ahn, H. Osada,
"A new enzyme involved in the control of the stereochemistry in the decalin formation during equisetin biosynthesis".

Naoki Kato: Research Scientist
Shunji Takahashi: Unit Leader
Natural Product Biosynthesis Research Unit