A new strategy for the biosynthesis of natural products
Microorganisms produce natural products, for example as virulence factors causing disease or as defense substances against predators and competitors. A team led by Dr Robin Teufel and first author Ying Duan from the Institute of Biology II of the Faculty of Biology at the University of Freiburg, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Bonn, have now discovered a new enzyme which is crucial for the production of natural products known as bacterial tropone. The researchers presented their findings in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Bacteria found in terrestrial and marine environments produce natural tropone products, among others, when interacting in symbiosis with plants, algae or lower animals, for example as substances presumed to protect against microbial pathogens of corals and sponges. Researchers in Friborg have now studied how symbiotic bacteria produce these bioactive agents. Teufel and his team have discovered a whole new type of enzyme essential for the production of these bacterial tropones.
Key intermediary in the biosynthesis of tropones
Scientists have found that this enzyme activates oxygen in a previously unknown way and incorporates it into a chemical precursor compound. In the process, the basic structure of the tropone is generated. Using chemical and biochemical methods, the researchers were able to study the functions of this enzyme in more detail and thus elucidate new intermediates in the biosynthesis of tropones. “We have succeeded in taking a crucial step towards a better understanding of the biological production of these important compounds”, explains Teufel. “These results may serve as a basis for better combating certain pathogens in the future or for obtaining new tropone compounds using biotechnological methods.”
Key enzymes for the synthesis of natural products
Ying Duan et al, A flavoprotein dioxygenase directs biosynthesis of the bacterial tropone via coenzyme A-ester oxygenolysis and ring epoxidation, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / jacs.1c04996
Quote: A new strategy for the biosynthesis of natural products (2021, July 2) retrieved July 2, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-strategy-natural-product-biolysis.html
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