A bifunctional enzyme with lycopene cyclase and phytoene synthase activities is encoded by the carRP gene of Mucor circinelloides

Eur J Biochem. 2000 Sep;267(17):5509-19. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.2000.01612.x.


Using functional analyses in Escherichia coli and Mucor circinelloides, it has been shown that a single M. circinelloides gene (carRP) codes for a protein with two different enzymatic activities, lycopene cyclase and phytoene synthase, which are encoded by independent genes in organisms other than fungi. This gene was identified using complementation tests among different classes of carotenoid mutants of M. circinelloides. The carRP gene product contains two domains: the R domain is located at the N-terminus and determines lycopene cyclase activity; the P domain is located at the C-terminus and displays phytoene synthase activity. The R domain is functional even in the absence of the P domain, while the latter needs the proper R domain conformation to carry out its function. The carRP gene is closely linked to the phytoene dehydrogenase (carB) gene, and the promoter regions of both genes are located within only 446 bp. Northern analyses show a co-ordinated regulation of the expression of both genes by blue light. Several motifs found in this promoter region suggest a bi-directional mode of transcription control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / genetics*
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Geranylgeranyl-Diphosphate Geranylgeranyltransferase
  • Intramolecular Lyases / genetics*
  • Intramolecular Lyases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mucor / enzymology
  • Mucor / genetics*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • CarRP protein, Mucor circinelloides
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • Geranylgeranyl-Diphosphate Geranylgeranyltransferase
  • Intramolecular Lyases
  • lycopene cyclase-isomerase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ250827