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Chem Biol. 2011 Jan 28;18(1):32-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.11.008.

Genome mining in Streptomyces clavuligerus: expression and biochemical characterization of two new cryptic sesquiterpene synthases.

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Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Box H, Providence, RI 02912-9108, USA.


Two presumptive terpene synthases of unknown biochemical function encoded by the sscg_02150 and sscg_03688 genes of Streptomyces clavuligerus ATCC 27074 were individually expressed in Escherichia coli as N-terminal-His₆-tag proteins, using codon-optimized synthetic genes. Incubation of recombinant SSCG_02150 with farnesyl diphosphate (1, FPP) gave (-)-δ-cadinene (2) while recombinant SSCG_03688 converted FPP to (+)-T-muurolol (3). Individual incubations of (-)-δ-cadinene synthase with [1,1-²H₂]FPP (1a), (1S)-[1-²H]-FPP (1b), and (1R)-[1-²H]-FPP (1c) and NMR analysis of the resulting samples of deuterated (-)-δ-cadinene supported a cyclization mechanism involving the intermediacy of nerolidyl diphosphate (4) leading to a helminthogermacradienyl cation 5. Following a 1,3-hydride shift of the original H-1(si) of FPP, cyclization and deprotonation will give (-)-δ-cadinene. Similar incubations with recombinant SSCG_03688 supported an analogous mechanism for the formation of (+)-T-muurolol (3), also involving a 1,3-hydride shift of the original H-1(si) of FPP.

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