Solanapyrone Synthase, a Possible Diels–Alderase and Iterative Type I Polyketide Synthase Encoded in a Biosynthetic Gene Cluster from Alternaria solani



The solanapyrone biosynthetic gene cluster was cloned from Alternaria solani. It consists of six genes—sol1–6—coding for a polyketide synthase, an O-methyltransferase, a dehydrogenase, a transcription factor, a flavin-dependent oxidase, and cytochrome P450. The prosolanapyrone synthase (PSS) encoded by sol1 was expressed in Aspergillus oryzae and its product was identified as desmethylprosolanapyrone I (8). Although PSS is closely related to the PKSs/Diels–Alderases LovB and MlcA of lovastatin and compactin biosynthesis, it did not catalyze cycloaddition. Sol5, encoding a flavin-dependent oxidase (solanapyrone synthase, SPS), was expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified. The purified recombinant SPS showed activity for the formation of (−)-solanapyrone A (1) from achiral prosolanapyrone II (2), establishing that this single enzyme catalyzes both the oxidation and the subsequent cycloaddition reaction, possibly as a Diels–Alder enzyme.