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J Biol Chem. 2002 Oct 4;277(40):37098-104. Epub 2002 Jul 22.

Functional analysis of eubacterial diterpene cyclases responsible for biosynthesis of a diterpene antibiotic, terpentecin.

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Biotechnology Research Center, Toyama Prefectural University, Toyama 939-0398, Japan.


Eubacterial diterpene cyclase genes had previously been cloned from a diterpenoid antibiotic terpentecin producer (Dairi, T., Hamano, Y., Kuzuyama, T., Itoh, N., Furihata, K., and Seto, H. (2001) J. Bacteriol. 183, 6085-6094). Their products, open reading frame 11 (ORF11) and ORF12, were essential for the conversion of geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGDP) into terpentetriene (TTE) that had the same basic skeleton as terpentecin. In this study, functional analyses of these two enzymes were performed by using purified recombinant enzymes. The ORF11 product converted GGDP into a cyclized intermediate, terpentedienol diphosphate (TDP), which was then transformed into TTE by the ORF12 product. Interestingly, the ORF12 product directly catalyzed the conversion of GGDP into three olefinic compounds. Moreover, the ORF12 product utilized farnesyl diphosphate as a substrate to give three olefinic compounds, which had the same structures as those formed from GGDP with the exception of the chain lengths. These results suggested that the ORF11 product with a DXDD motif converted GGDP into TDP by a protonation-initiated cyclization and that the ORF12 product with a DDXXD motif completed the transformation of TDP to the olefin, terpentetriene by an ionization-initiated reaction followed by deprotonation. The kinetics of the ORF12 product indicated that the affinity for TDP and GGDP were higher than that of farnesyl diphosphate and that the relative activity of the reaction converting TDP into TTE was highest among the reactions using TDP, GGDP, or farnesyl diphosphate as the substrate. These results suggested that an actual reaction catalyzed by the ORF12 was the conversion of TDP into TTE in vivo.

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