Ergot Alkaloid Biosynthesis in Aspergillus Fumigatus. Overproduction and Biochemical Characterization of a 4-dimethylallyltryptophan N-methyltransferase

J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 3;283(40):26859-68. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M804979200. Epub 2008 Aug 4.

Abstract

The putative gene fgaMT was identified in the biosynthetic gene cluster of fumigaclavines in Aspergillus fumigatus. The coding region of fgaMT was amplified by PCR from a cDNA library, cloned into pQE60, and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. FgaMT comprises 339 amino acids with a molecular mass of about 38.1 kDa. The soluble dimeric His(6)-FgaMT was purified to near homogeneity and characterized biochemically. FgaMT was found to catalyze the N-methylation of 4-dimethylallyltryptophan in the presence of S-adenosylmethionine, resulting in the formation of 4-dimethylallyl-l-abrine, which was identified by NMR and mass spectrometry analysis. Therefore, FgaMT represents the second pathway-specific enzyme in the biosynthesis of ergot alkaloids. The enzyme did not require metal ions for its enzymatic reaction and showed a relatively high specificity toward the prenyl moiety at position C-4 of the indole ring. 4-Dimethylallyltryptophan derivatives with modification at the indole ring were also accepted by FgaMT as substrates. K(m) values for 4-dimethylallyltryptophan and S-adenosylmethionine were determined at 0.12 and 2.4 mm, respectively. The turnover number was 2.0 s(-1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus fumigatus / enzymology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Ergot Alkaloids / biosynthesis*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genes, Fungal / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Methyltransferases / chemistry*
  • Methyltransferases / genetics
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / chemistry
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / metabolism

Substances

  • Ergot Alkaloids
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Methyltransferases