Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Journal or Book Title
The evolution of natural products biosynthetic pathways can be envisioned to occur via a number of mechanisms. Here we provide evidence that latent plasticity plays a role in such metabolic evolution. In particular, rice (Oryza sativa) produces both ent- and syn-copalyl diphosphate (CPP), which are substrates for downstream diterpene synthases. Here we report that several members of this enzymatic family exhibit dual reactivity with some pairing of ent-, syn-, or normal CPP stereochemistry. Evident plasticity was observed, as a previously reported entsandaracopimaradiene synthase also converts syn-CPP to syn-labda-8(17),12E,14-triene, which can be found in planta. Notably, normal CPP is not naturally found in rice. Thus, the presence of diterpene synthases that react with this non-native metabolite reveals latent enzymatic/metabolic plasticity, providing biochemical capacity for utilization of such a novel substrate (i.e., normal CPP) that may arise during evolution, the implications of which are discussed.
Morrone, Dana; Hillwig, Matthew L.; Mead, Matthew E.; Lowry, Luke; Fulton, D. Bruce; and Peters, Reuben J., "Evident and latent plasticity across the rice diterpene synthase family with potential implications for the evolution of diterpenoid metabolism in the cereals" (2011). Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Publications. 106.