Research ArticleSYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

Discovery of a previously unknown biosynthetic capacity of naringenin chalcone synthase by heterologous expression of a tomato gene cluster in yeast

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eabd1143
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd1143

Abstract

Chalcone synthase (CHS) canonically catalyzes carbon-carbon bond formation through iterative decarboxylative Claisen condensation. Here, we characterize a previously unidentified biosynthetic capability of SlCHS to catalyze nitrogen-carbon bond formation, leading to the production of a hydroxycinnamic acid amide (HCAA) compound. By expressing a putative tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) gene cluster in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), we elucidate the activity of a pathway consisting of a carboxyl methyltransferase (SlMT2), which methylates the yeast primary metabolite 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3-HAA) to form a methyl ester, and a SlCHS, which catalyzes the condensation of 3-HAA methyl ester and p-coumaroyl-coenzyme A (CoA) through formation of an amide bond. We demonstrate that this aminoacylation activity could be a common secondary activity in plant CHSs by validating the activity in vitro with variants from S. lycopersicum and Arabidopsis thaliana. Our work demonstrates yeast as a platform for characterizing putative plant gene clusters with the potential for compound structure and enzymatic activity discovery.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances