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Open AccessCommunication
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(4), 116; doi:10.3390/md15040116

Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Lycopene β-Cyclase from Macrophytic Red Alga Bangia fuscopurpurea

1
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2
Jiangsu Institute of Oceanology and Marine Fisheries, Nantong 226007, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tatsuya Sugawara
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Carotenoids)
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Abstract

Lycopene cyclases cyclize the open ends of acyclic lycopene (ψ,ψ-carotene) into β- or ε-ionone rings in the crucial bifurcation step of carotenoid biosynthesis. Among all carotenoid constituents, β-carotene (β,β-carotene) is found in all photosynthetic organisms, except for purple bacteria and heliobacteria, suggesting a ubiquitous distribution of lycopene β-cyclase activity in these organisms. In this work, we isolated a gene (BfLCYB) encoding a lycopene β-cyclase from Bangia fuscopurpurea, a red alga that is considered to be one of the primitive multicellular eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms and accumulates carotenoid constituents with both β- and ε-rings, including β-carotene, zeaxanthin, α-carotene (β,ε-carotene) and lutein. Functional complementation in Escherichia coli demonstrated that BfLCYB is able to catalyze cyclization of lycopene into monocyclic γ-carotene (β,ψ-carotene) and bicyclic β-carotene, and cyclization of the open end of monocyclic δ-carotene (ε,ψ-carotene) to produce α-carotene. No ε-cyclization activity was identified for BfLCYB. Sequence comparison showed that BfLCYB shares conserved domains with other functionally characterized lycopene cyclases from different organisms and belongs to a group of ancient lycopene cyclases. Although B. fuscopurpurea also synthesizes α-carotene and lutein, its enzyme-catalyzing ε-cyclization is still unknown. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bangia fuscopurpurea; red algae; lycopene cyclase; carotenoid; metabolism Bangia fuscopurpurea; red algae; lycopene cyclase; carotenoid; metabolism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cao, T.-J.; Huang, X.-Q.; Qu, Y.-Y.; Zhuang, Z.; Deng, Y.-Y.; Lu, S. Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Lycopene β-Cyclase from Macrophytic Red Alga Bangia fuscopurpurea. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 116.

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