Alternative dimethylsulfoniopropionate biosynthesis enzymes in diverse and abundant microbes

Jinyan Wang, Andrew Curson, Shun Zhou, Ornella Carrion Fonseca, Ji Liu, Ana Vieira, Keanu Walsham, Serena Monaco, Chun-Yang Li, Qing-Yu Dong, Yu Wang, Peter Rivera, Xiao-Di Wang, Min Zhang, Libby Hanwell, Matthew Wallace, Xiaoyu Zhu, Pedro Leao, David Lea-Smith, Yu-Zhong ZhangXiao-Hua Zhang, Jonathan Todd

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Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is an abundant marine organosulfur compound with roles in stress protection, chemotaxis, nutrient and sulfur cycling and climate regulation. Here, we report the discovery of a bifunctional DMSP biosynthesis enzyme, DsyGD, in the transamination pathway of the rhizobacterium Gynuella sunshinyii and some filamentous cyanobacteria not previously known to produce DMSP. DsyGD produces DMSP through its N-terminal DsyG methylthiohydroxybutyrate (MTHB) S-methyltransferase and C-terminal DsyD dimethylsulfoniohydroxybutyrate (DMSHB) decarboxylase domains. Phylogenetically distinct DsyG-like proteins, termed DSYE, with MTHB S-methyltransferase (MSM) activity were found in diverse and environmentally abundant algae, comprising a mix of low, high and previously unknown DMSP producers. Algae containing DSYE, particularly bloom-forming Pelagophyceae species, were globally more abundant DMSP producers than those with previously described DMSP synthesis genes. This work greatly increases the number and diversity of predicted DMSP-producing organisms and highlights the importance of Pelagophyceae and other DSYE-containing algae in global DMSP production and sulfur cycling.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Microbiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Apr 2024

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