Plant-like biosynthetic pathways in bacteria: from benzoic acid to chalcone.
ABSTRACT Although phenylpropanoids and flavonoids are common plant natural products, these major classes of biologically active secondary metabolites are largely absent from bacteria. The ubiquitous plant enzymes phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and chalcone synthase (CHS) are key biosynthetic catalysts in phenylpropanoid and flavonoid assembly, respectively. Until recently, few bacterial counterparts were known, thus reflecting the dearth of these plant natural products in bacteria. This review highlights our progress on the biochemical and genetic characterization of recently identified streptomycete biosynthetic pathways to benzoic acid and type III polyketide synthase (PKS)-derived products. The sediment-derived bacterium "Streptomyces maritimus" produces benzoyl-CoA in a plant-like manner from phenylalanine involving a PAL-mediated reaction through cinnamic acid during the biosynthesis of the polyketide antibiotic enterocin. All but one of the genes encoding benzoyl-CoA biosynthesis in "S. maritimus" have been cloned, sequenced, and inactivated, providing a model for benzoate biosynthesis not only in this bacterium, but in plants where benzoic acid is an important constituent of many products. The recent discovery that bacteria harbor homodimeric PKSs belonging to the plant CHS superfamily of condensing enzymes has further linked the biosynthetic capabilities of plants and bacteria. A bioinformatics approach led to the prediction that the model actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) contains up to three type III PKSs. Biochemical analysis of one of the recombinant type III PKSs from S. coelicolor demonstrated activity as a 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene synthase (THNS). A homology model of THNS based upon the known three-dimensional structure of CHS was constructed to explore the structural and mechanistic details of this new subclass of bacterial PKSs.
Article: A horizontal gene transfer at the origin of phenylpropanoid metabolism: a key adaptation of plants to land.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The pioneering ancestor of land plants that conquered terrestrial habitats around 500 million years ago had to face dramatic stresses including UV radiation, desiccation, and microbial attack. This drove a number of adaptations, among which the emergence of the phenylpropanoid pathway was crucial, leading to essential compounds such as flavonoids and lignin. However, the origin of this specific land plant secondary metabolism has not been clarified. We have performed an extensive analysis of the taxonomic distribution and phylogeny of Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase (PAL), which catalyses the first and essential step of the general phenylpropanoid pathway, leading from phenylalanine to p-Coumaric acid and p-Coumaroyl-CoA, the entry points of the flavonoids and lignin routes. We obtained robust evidence that the ancestor of land plants acquired a PAL via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) during symbioses with soil bacteria and fungi that are known to have established very early during the first steps of land colonization. This horizontally acquired PAL represented then the basis for further development of the phenylpropanoid pathway and plant radiation on terrestrial environments. Our results highlight a possible crucial role of HGT from soil bacteria in the path leading to land colonization by plants and their subsequent evolution. The few functional characterizations of sediment/soil bacterial PAL (production of secondary metabolites with powerful antimicrobial activity or production of pigments) suggest that the initial advantage of this horizontally acquired PAL in the ancestor of land plants might have been either defense against an already developed microbial community and/or protection against UV.Biology Direct 03/2009; 4:7. · 4.02 Impact Factor
Article: A peroxisomally localized acyl-activating enzyme is required for volatile benzenoid formation in a Petuniaxhybrida cv. 'Mitchell Diploid' flower.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Floral volatile benzenoid/phenylpropanoid (FVBP) biosynthesis is a complex and coordinate cellular process executed by petal limb cells of a Petunia×hybrida cv. 'Mitchell Diploid' (MD) plant. In MD flowers, the majority of benzenoid volatile compounds are derived from a core phenylpropanoid pathway intermediate by a coenzyme A (CoA) dependent, β-oxidative scheme. Metabolic flux analysis, reverse genetics, and biochemical characterizations of key enzymes in this pathway have supported this putative concept. However, the theoretical first enzymatic reaction, which leads to the production of cinnamoyl-CoA, has only been physically demonstrated in a select number of bacteria like Streptomyces maritimus through mutagenesis and recombinant protein production. A transcript hasbeen cloned and characterized from MD flowers that shares high homology with an Arabidopsis thaliana transcript ACYL-ACTIVATING ENZYME11 (AtAAE11) and the S. maritimus ACYL-COA:LIGASE (SmEncH). In MD, the PhAAE transcript accumulates in a very similar manner as bona fide FVBP network genes, i.e. high levels in an open flower petal and ethylene regulated. In planta, PhAAE is localized to the peroxisome. Upon reduction of PhAAE transcript through a stable RNAi approach, transgenic flowers emitted a reduced level of all benzenoid volatile compounds. Together, the data suggest that PhAAE may be responsible for the activation of t-cinnamic acid, which would be required for floral volatile benzenoid production in MD.Journal of Experimental Botany 07/2012; 63(13):4821-33. · 5.36 Impact Factor
Article: Kinetic and regiospecific interrogation of covalent intermediates in the nonribosomal peptide synthesis of yersiniabactin.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: For interrogation of enzyme-bound intermediates in nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs), mass spectrometry is used to read out the kinetics and substrate specificity of this medicinally important class of enzymes. The protein HMWP2 (230 kDa) catalyzes 11 chemical reactions, four of which could be resolved by fast quench approaches combined with mass spectrometry. The rate of complex intermediate accumulation at the PCP1 active site was observed to occur with a rate of 19 s(-1), with the rate of cysteine acylation faster than that of intermediate translocation. Use of alternative substrates for salicylic acid (at the ArCP carrier domain) and l-cysteine (at the PCP1 carrier domain) revealed a high penalty for omission of the salicyl alcohol. For some substrates, large discrepancies were found between prior adenylation assays and the current MS-based readouts. Indirect evidence for condensation via a thiolate attack (vs an amino group) was also accumulated. This is the first report to correlate the percent occupancy of multiple active sites in parallel with kinetic and structural resolution of intermediates and provides new evidence of interdomain and intermodule communication within thiotemplate assembly lines.Journal of the American Chemical Society 11/2004; 126(41):13265-75. · 9.91 Impact Factor