Due to their bioactive properties as well as their application as precursors in chemical synthesis, hydroxylated isoprenoids and norisoprenoids are very valuable compounds. The efficient hydroxylation of such compounds remains a challenge in organic chemistry caused by the formation of a variety of side products and lack of overall regio- and stereoselectivity. In contrast, cytochromes P450 are known for their selective oxidation under mild conditions. Here, we demonstrate for the first time the ability of myxobacterial CYP260B1 and CYP267B1 from Sorangium cellulosum So ce56 to oxidize such carotenoid-derived aroma compounds. A focused library of 14 substrates such as ionones, damascones, as well as some of their isomers and derivatives was screened in vitro. Both P450s were capable of an efficient oxidation of all tested compounds. CYP260B1-dependent conversions mainly formed multiple products, whereas conversions by CYP267B1 resulted predominantly in a single product. To identify the main products by NMR spectroscopy, an Escherichia coli-based whole-cell system was used. CYP267B1 showed a hydroxylase activity towards the formation of allylic alcohols. Likewise, CYP260B1 performed the allylic hydroxylation of β-damascone [(E)-1-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-enyl)but-2-en-1-one] and δ-damascone [(E)-1-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-3-enyl)but-2-en-1-one]. Moreover, CYP260B1 showed an epoxidase activity towards β-ionone [(E)-4-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-enyl)but-3-en-2-one] as well as the methyl-substituted α-ionone derivatives raldeine [(E)-1-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-2-enyl)pent-1-en-3-one] and isoraldeine [(E)-3-methyl-4-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-2-enyl)but-3-en-2-one]. In addition, to known products, also novel products such as 2-OH-δ-damascone [(E)-1-(5-hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-3-enyl)but-2-en-1-one], 3-OH-allyl-α-ionone [(E)-1-(4-hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-2-enyl)hepta-1,6-dien-3-one], and 4-OH-allyl-β-ionone [(E)-1-(3-hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-enyl)hepta-1,6-dien-3-one] were identified during our studies.
Keywords: CYP260B1; CYP267B1; Cytochromes P450; Damascone; Ionone; Norisoprenoids.