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FEBS Lett. 2005 Nov 7;579(27):6111-4. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

The cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 has two distinct beta-carotene ketolases: CrtO for echinenone and CrtW for ketomyxol synthesis.

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  • 1Natural Science Faculty, Komazawa University, Tokyo 154-8525, Japan.


Two beta-carotene ketolases, CrtW and CrtO, are widely distributed in bacteria, although they show no significant sequence homology with each other. The cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 was found to have two homologous genes. In the crtW deleted mutant, myxol 2'-fucoside was present, but ketomyxol 2'-fucoside was absent. In the crtO deleted mutant, beta-carotene was accumulated, and the amount of echinenone was decreased. Therefore, CrtW catalyzed myxol 2'-fucoside to ketomyxol 2'-fucoside, and CrtO catalyzed beta-carotene to echinenone. This cyanobacterium was the first species found to have both enzymes, which functioned in two distinct biosynthetic pathways.

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