Biosynthesis of menaquinones. Enzymatic prenylation of 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoate by Micrococcus luteus membrane fractions

J Biochem. 1981 May;89(5):1445-52. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a133337.


1,4-Dihydroxy-2-naphthoate:polyprenyltransferase was detected in the membrane fraction from Micrococcus luteus. The specificity of the enzyme ws so tolerant as regards the prenyl-donating substrate that prenyl pyrophosphates ranging in chain length from C15 to C45 were active as substrates. The monophosphate esters were also active, though the reactivities were much lower than those of the corresponding pyrophosphates. The enzyme showed rigorous specificity with respect to the aromatic substrate. Neither 1,4-dihydroxynaphthalene nor its 2-methyl derivative was active at all. 1,4-Dihydroxy-3-methyl-2-naphthoate could be prenylated to afford menaquinone, but the reactivity was much less than that of its demethyl derivative. These results support the view that menaquinone biosynthesis involves the prenylation of 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoate prior to decarboxylation or methylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases*
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Farnesol / analogs & derivatives
  • Farnesol / metabolism
  • Micrococcus / enzymology*
  • Naphthols / metabolism*
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates / metabolism
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transferases / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin K / biosynthesis
  • Vitamin K 2* / analogs & derivatives*


  • Naphthols
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Vitamin K 2
  • Vitamin K
  • 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid
  • demethylmenaquinone
  • Farnesol
  • farnesyl pyrophosphate
  • Transferases
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • 1,4-dihydroxynaphthoate-polyprenyltransferase