A role for old yellow enzyme in ergot alkaloid biosynthesis

Johnathan Z. Cheng, Christine M. Coyle, Daniel G. Panaccione, Sarah O'Connor

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Ergot alkaloids, secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi, elicit a diverse array of pharmacological effects. The biosynthesis of this class of natural products has not been fully elucidated. Here we demonstrate that a homologue of Old Yellow Enzyme encoded in the Aspergillus fumigatus ergot gene cluster catalyzes reduction of the alpha,beta unsaturated alkene of chanoclavine-I aldehyde 3. This reduction, which yields dihydrochanoclavine aldehyde, facilitates an intramolecular reaction between a secondary amine and aldehyde to form the D ring of the ergot alkaloid structural framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1777
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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