A single amino acid substitution converts benzophenone synthase into phenylpyrone synthase.
ABSTRACT Benzophenone metabolism provides a number of plant natural products with fascinating chemical structures and intriguing pharmacological activities. Formation of the carbon skeleton of benzophenone derivatives from benzoyl-CoA and three molecules of malonyl-CoA is catalyzed by benzophenone synthase (BPS), a member of the superfamily of type III polyketide synthases. A point mutation in the active site cavity (T135L) transformed BPS into a functional phenylpyrone synthase (PPS). The dramatic change in both substrate and product specificities of BPS was rationalized by homology modeling. The mutation may open a new pocket that accommodates the phenyl moiety of the triketide intermediate but limits polyketide elongation to two reactions, resulting in phenylpyrone formation. 3-Hydroxybenzoyl-CoA is the second best starter molecule for BPS but a poor substrate for PPS. The aryl moiety of the triketide intermediate may be trapped in the new pocket by hydrogen bond formation with the backbone, thereby acting as an inhibitor. PPS is a promising biotechnological tool for manipulating benzoate-primed biosynthetic pathways to produce novel compounds.
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ABSTRACT: Biosynthesis of benzoic acid from cinnamic acid has been studied in cell cultures of Hypericum androsaemum L. The mechanism underlying side-chain shortening is CoA-dependent and non-beta-oxidative. The enzymes involved are cinnamate:CoA ligase, cinnamoyl-CoA hydratase/lyase and benzaldehyde dehydrogenase. Cinnamate:CoA ligase was separated from benzoate:CoA ligase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase, which belong to xanthone biosynthesis and general phenylpropanoid metabolism, respectively. Cinnamoyl-CoA hydratase/lyase catalyzes hydration and cleavage of cinnamoyl-CoA to benzaldehyde and acetyl-CoA. Benzaldehyde dehydrogenase finally supplies benzoic acid. In cell cultures of H. androsaemum, benzoic acid is a precursor of xanthones, which accumulate during cell culture growth and after methyl jasmonate treatment. Both the constitutive and the induced accumulations of xanthones were preceded by increases in the activities of all benzoic acid biosynthetic enzymes. Similar changes in activity were observed for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and the xanthone biosynthetic enzymes benzoate:CoA ligase and benzophenone synthase.Planta 04/2002; 214(5):727-33. · 3.00 Impact Factor