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Fungal Genetics and Biology
Volume 157, 2021, 103623

Fatty acid dioxygenase-cytochrome P450 fusion enzymes of filamentous fungal pathogens

Ernst H.Oliw

Division of Biochemical Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Box 591, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

Oxylipins designate oxygenated unsaturated C18 fatty acids. Many filamentous fungi pathogens contain dioxygenases (DOX) in oxylipin biosynthesis with homology to human cyclooxygenases. They contain a DOX domain, which is often fused to a functional cytochrome P450 at the C-terminal end. A Tyr radical in the DOX domain initiates dioxygenation of linoleic acid by hydrogen abstraction with formation of 8-, 9-, or 10-hydroperoxy metabolites. The P450 domains can catalyze heterolytic cleavage of 8- and 10-hydroperoxides with oxidation of the heme thiolate iron for hydroxylation at C-5, C-7, C-9, or C-11 and for epoxidation of the 12Z double bond; thus displaying linoleate diol synthase (LDS) and epoxy alcohol synthase (EAS) activities. LSD activities are present in the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzaeBotrytis cinerea causing grey mold and the black scurf pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. 10R-DOX-EAS has been found in M. oryzae and Fusarium oxysporum. The P450 domains may also catalyze homolytic cleavage of 8- and 9-hydroperoxy fatty acids and dehydration to produce epoxides with an adjacent double bond, i.e., allene oxides, thus displaying 8- and 9-DOX-allene oxide synthases (AOS). F. oxysporum, F. graminearum, and R. solani express 9S-DOX-AOS and Zymoseptoria tritici 8S-and 9R-DOX-AOS. Homologues are present in endemic human-pathogenic fungi with extensive studies in Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus (also a plant pathogen) as well as the genetic model A. nidulans. 8R-and 10R-DOX appear to bind fatty acids “headfirst” in the active site, whereas 9S-DOX binds them “tail first” in analogy with cyclooxygenases. The biological relevance of 8R-DOX-5,8-LDS (also designated PpoA) was first discovered in relation to sporulation of A. nidulans and recently for development and programmed hyphal branching of A. fumigatus. Gene deletion DOX-AOS homologues in F. verticillioides, A. flavus, and A. nidulans alters, inter alia, mycotoxin production, sporulation, and gene expression.

Keywords: Allene oxide synthase, Hyphal branching, Linoleate diol synthase, Fatty acid oxygenation, Oxylipins, Sporulation.

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