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Chembiochem. 2019 Mar 1;20(5):677-682. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201800670. Epub 2019 Jan 25.

Sesquiterpenoids Produced by Combining Two Sesquiterpene Cyclases with Promiscuous Myxobacterial CYP260B1.

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Key Laboratory of Combinatorial Biosynthesis and Drug Discovery, Ministry of Education and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430071, P.R. China.
Department of Biochemistry, Saarland University, Campus B2.2, 66123, Saarbrücken, Germany.
Hubei Engineering Laboratory for Synthetic Microbiology, Wuhan Institute of Biotechnology, Wuhan, 430075, P.R. China.


Sesquiterpenes represent a class of important terpenoids with high structural diversity and a wide range of applications. The cyclized core skeletons are generated by sesquiterpene cyclases, and the structural diversity is further increased by a series of modification steps. Cytochromes P450 (P450s) are a class of monooxygenases and one of the main contributors to the structural diversity of natural products. Some of these P450s show a broad substrate range and might be promising candidates for the implementation of cascade reactions. In this study, a combinatorial biosynthesis approach was utilized by the combination of a promiscuous myxobacterial P450 (CYP260B1) with two sesquiterpene cyclases (FgJ01056, FgJ09920) of filamentous fungi. Two oxygenated products, culmorin and culmorone, and a new compound, koraidiol, were successfully generated and characterized. This approach suggests the potential use of noncognate P450s to produce novel oxygenated terpenoids, or to generate a novel biosynthetic route for known terpenoids by a combinatorial biosynthesis strategy.


combinatorial biosynthesis; enzymes; natural products; structure elucidation; terpenoids

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