Engineering Substrate Channeling in Assembly-Line Terpene Biosynthesis

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bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2024 Mar 28:2024.03.25.586617. doi: 10.1101/2024.03.25.586617.

ABSTRACT

Fusicoccadiene synthase from P. amygdala (PaFS) is a bifunctional assembly-line terpene synthase containing a prenyltransferase domain that generates geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) and three equivalents of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP), and a cyclase domain that converts GGPP into fusicoccadiene, a precursor of the diterpene glycoside Fusicoccin A. The two catalytic domains are linked by a flexible 69-residue polypeptide segment. The prenyltransferase domain mediates oligomerization to form predominantly octamers, and cyclase domains are randomly splayed out around the prenyltransferase core. Previous studies suggest that substrate channeling is operative in catalysis, since most of the GGPP formed by the prenyltransferase remains on the protein for the cyclization reaction. Here, we demonstrate that the flexible linker is not required for substrate channeling, nor must the prenyltransferase and cyclase domains be covalently linked to sustain substrate channeling. Moreover, substrate competition experiments with other diterpene cyclases indicate that the PaFS prenyltransferase and cyclase domains are preferential partners regardless of whether they are covalently linked or not. The cryo-EM structure of engineered linkerless construct PaFSLL, in which the 69-residue linker is spliced out and replaced with the tripeptide PTQ, reveals that cyclase pairs associate with all four sides of the prenyltransferase octamer. Taken together, these results suggest that optimal substrate channeling is achieved when a cyclase domain associates with the side of the prenyltransferase octamer, regardless of whether the two domains are covalently linked and regardless of whether this interaction is transient or locked in place.

PMID:38586022 | PMC:PMC10996616 | DOI:10.1101/2024.03.25.586617