Complete Pathway Elucidation and Heterologous Reconstitution of (+)-Nootkatone Biosynthesis from Alpinia oxyphylla
Published:03 Dec.2023    Source:New Phytologist
(+)-Nootkatone is a natural sesquiterpene ketone widely used in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. It is also regarded as one of the most valuable terpenes used commercially. However, plants contain trace amounts of (+)-nootkatone, and extraction from plants is insufficient to meet market demand. Alpinia oxyphylla is a well-known medicinal plant in China, and (+)-nootkatone is one of the main components within the fruits.
By transcriptome mining and functional screening using a precursor-providing yeast chassis, the complete (+)-nootkatone biosynthetic pathway in Alpinia oxyphylla was identified. A (+)-valencene synthase (AoVS) was identified as a novel monocot-derived valencene synthase; three (+)-valencene oxidases AoCYP6 (CYP71BB2), AoCYP9 (CYP71CX8), and AoCYP18 (CYP701A170) were identified by constructing a valencene-providing yeast strain. With further characterisation of a cytochrome P450 reductase (AoCPR1) and three dehydrogenases (AoSDR1/2/3), we successfully reconstructed the (+)-nootkatone biosynthetic pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, representing a basis for its biotechnological production.
Identifying the biosynthetic pathway of (+)-nootkatone in A. oxyphylla unravelled the molecular mechanism underlying its formation in planta and also supported the bioengineering production of (+)-nootkatone. The highly efficient yeast chassis screening method could be used to elucidate the complete biosynthetic pathway of other valuable plant natural products in future.