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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Apr 30;136(17):6195-8. doi: 10.1021/ja501630w. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Regio- and stereoselective intermolecular oxidative phenol coupling in Streptomyces.

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Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg , 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Intermolecular oxidative phenol coupling is the main process in nature for the formation of atroposelective biaryl compounds. Although well defined in plants and fungi, this type of dimerization reaction in bacteria is poorly understood. Therefore, the biosynthesis of julichromes, spectomycins, and setomimycin was investigated. The monomeric subunits of these biarylic pre-anthraquinones are derived from a common polyketidic precursor, yet the coupling reaction proceeds in a regioselective manner, with the position of attachment of the two subunits depending on the specific streptomycete strain. By using genome analysis and deletion experiments, the biosynthetic gene clusters were identified. Furthermore, it was established that cytochrome P450 enzymes are fundamentally involved during dimerization of the polyketide monomers.

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