The biosynthetic pathway for synechoxanthin, an aromatic carotenoid synthesized by the euryhaline, unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002

Joel E. Graham, Donald A. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The euryhaline, unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 produces the dicyclic aromatic carotenoid synechoxanthin (χ,χ-caroten-18,18′-dioic acid) as a major pigment (>15% of total carotenoid) and when grown to stationary phase also accumulates small amounts of renierapurpurin (χ,χ-carotene) (J. E. Graham, J. T. J. Lecomte, and D. A. Bryant, J. Nat. Prod. 71:1647-1650, 2008). Two genes that were predicted to encode enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of synechoxanthin were identified by comparative genomics, and these genes were insertionally inactivated in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 to verify their function. The cruE gene (SYNPCC7002_A1248) encodes β-carotene desaturase/ methyltransferase, which converts β-carotene to renierapurpurin. The cruH gene (SYNPCC7002_A2246) encodes an enzyme that is minimally responsible for the hydroxylation/oxidation of the C-18 and C-18′ methyl groups of renierapurpurin. Based on observed and biochemically characterized intermediates, a complete pathway for synechoxanthin biosynthesis is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7966-7974
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume190
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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