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A Red Algal Bourbonane Sesquiterpene Synthase Defined by Microgram-Scale NMR-Coupled Crystalline Sponge X-ray Diffraction Analysis

TitleA Red Algal Bourbonane Sesquiterpene Synthase Defined by Microgram-Scale NMR-Coupled Crystalline Sponge X-ray Diffraction Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKersten RD, Lee S., Fujita D., Pluskal T., Kram S., Smith JE, Iwai T., Noel J.P, Fujita M., Weng J.K
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Date Published2017/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0002-7863
Accession NumberWOS:000416496400057
Keywordsabsolute-configuration; biosynthesis; discovery; kelsoene; marine natural-products; molecules; porous complexes; prespatane; terpene synthases; yeast

Sesquiterpene scaffolds are the core backbones of many medicinally and industrially important natural products. A plethora of sesquiterpene synthases, widely present in bacteria, fungi, and plants, catalyze the formation of these intricate structures often with multiple stereocenters starting from linear farnesyl diphosphate substrates. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing and metabolomics technologies have greatly facilitated gene discovery for sesquiterpene synthases. However, a major bottleneck limits biochemical characterization of recombinant sesquiterpene synthases: the absolute structural elucidation of the derived sesquiterpene products. Here, we report the identification and biochemical characterization of LphTPS-A, a sesquiterpene synthase from the red macroalga Laurencia pacifica. Using the combination of transcriptomics, sesquiterpene synthase expression in yeast, and microgram-scale nuclear magnetic resonance-coupled crystalline sponge X-ray diffraction analysis, we resolved the absolute stereochemistry of prespatane, the major sesquiterpene product of LphTPS-A, and thereby functionally define LphTPS-A as the first bourbonane-producing sesquiterpene synthase and the first biochemically characterized sesquiterpene synthase from red algae. Our study showcases a workflow integrating multiomics approaches, synthetic biology, and the crystalline sponge method, which is generally applicable for uncovering new terpene chemistry and biochemistry from source-limited living organisms.

Short TitleJ. Am. Chem. Soc.
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