Cover Picture: Identification of the Verruculogen Prenyltransferase FtmPT3 by a Combination of Chemical, Bioinformatic and Biochemical Approaches (ChemBioChem 17/2012)

Authors

  • Kathrin Mundt,

    1. Philipps-Universität Marburg, Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Deutschhausstrasse 17A, 35037 Marburg (Germany)
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  • Beate Wollinsky,

    1. Philipps-Universität Marburg, Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Deutschhausstrasse 17A, 35037 Marburg (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Han-Li Ruan,

    1. Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tongji Medical College and Hubei Key Laboratory of Natural Medicinal Chemistry and Resource Evaluation, Hongkong Road 13, 430030, Wuhan (China)
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  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tianjiao Zhu,

    1. Ocean University of China, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, Chinese Ministry of Education, Yushan Road 5, 266003, Qingdao (P. R. China)
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  • Prof. Dr. Shu-Ming Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Philipps-Universität Marburg, Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Deutschhausstrasse 17A, 35037 Marburg (Germany)
    • Philipps-Universität Marburg, Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Deutschhausstrasse 17A, 35037 Marburg (Germany)
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Abstract

original image

The cover picture shows a successful strategy to identify secondary-metabolite biosynthetic genes by a combination of chemical, bioinformatics, and biochemical approaches. After isolation and identification of several metabolites of the fumitremorgin-type alkaloids, especially of fumitremorgin A, from cultures of the ascomycetous fungus Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181, S.-M. Li et al. identified a putative prenyltransferase gene ftmPT3 in its genome sequence. Biochemical investigation of the recombinant FtmPT3 proved its role in the conversion of verruculogen to fumitremorgin A. Comparison of the genome sequence of N. fischeri with that of its close relative Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that both fungi contain genes for the biosynthesis of verruculogen and that ftmPT3 is located on a different fragment in N. fischeri than in the identified verruculogen cluster. No homologue gene was identified in the genome sequences of A. fumigatus strains, thus providing evidence for the accumulation of verruculogen as the end product of the biosynthetic pathway of fumitremorgin-type alkaloids in A. fumigatus. See p. 2583 ff. for more details.

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