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Nat Commun. 2014;5:3283. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4283.

Reconstitution of a 10-gene pathway for synthesis of the plant alkaloid dihydrosanguinarine in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Author information

1
1] Department of Biology, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6 [2] Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6 [3].
2
1] Department of Biology, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6 [2] Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6.
3
Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.

Abstract

Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) represent a large class of plant secondary metabolites, including pharmaceuticals such as morphine, codeine and their derivatives. Large-scale production of BIA-based pharmaceuticals is limited to extraction and derivatization of alkaloids that accumulate in planta. Synthesis of BIAs in microbial hosts could bypass such limitations and transform both industrial production of BIAs with recognized value and research into uncharacterized BIAs. Here we reconstitute a 10-gene plant pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that allows for the production of dihydrosanguinarine and its oxidized derivative sanguinarine from (R,S)-norlaudanosoline. Synthesis of dihydrosanguinarine also yields the side-products N-methylscoulerine and N-methylcheilanthifoline, the latter of which has not been detected in plants. This work represents the longest reconstituted alkaloid pathway ever assembled in yeast and demonstrates the feasibility of the production of high-value alkaloids in microbial systems.

PMID:
24513861
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4283
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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