Pyrone polyketides synthesized by a type III polyketide synthase from Drosophyllum lusitanicum

Aphacha Jindaprasert, Karin Springob, Jürgen Schmidt, Wanchai De-Eknamkul, Toni M. Kutchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


To isolate cDNAs involved in the biosynthesis of acetate-derived naphthoquinones in Drosophyllum lusitanicum, an expressed sequence tag analysis was performed. RNA from callus cultures was used to create a cDNA library from which 2004 expressed sequence tags were generated. One cDNA with similarity to known type III polyketide synthases was isolated as full-length sequence and termed DluHKS. The translated polypeptide sequence of DluHKS showed 51-67% identity with other plant type III PKSs. Recombinant DluHKS expressed in Escherichia coli accepted acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) as starter and carried out sequential decarboxylative condensations with malonyl-CoA yielding α-pyrones from three to six acetate units. However, naphthalenes, the expected products, were not isolated. Since the main compound produced by DluHKS is a hexaketide α-pyrone, and the naphthoquinones in D. lusitanicum are composed of six acetate units, we propose that the enzyme provides the backbone of these secondary metabolites. An involvement of accessory proteins in this biosynthetic pathway is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3043-3053
Number of pages11
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Drosophyllaceae
  • Drosophyllum lusitanicum link
  • Hexaketide synthase
  • Naphthoquinone
  • Pyrone synthase
  • Type III polyketide synthase


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