Basidiomycetes produce various sesquiterpenoids and their relevance for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications and understanding their biosynthetic machinery to produce these secondary metabolites have attracted significant interest. Because sesquiterpene synthases (STSs) and cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) play pivotal roles in the production of sesquiterpenoids, functional characterization of these enzymes is fundamentally essential. In this study, we found 11 possible STSs from the white-rot basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium (PcSTSs) and isolated nine of these as full-length cDNAs encoding a mature open reading frame. Using the isolated cDNAs, we performed heterologous expression of PcSTSs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Metabolic studies revealed that seven of the PcSTSs produce a series of sesquiterpene scaffolds, including (E)-α-bisabolene. Furthermore, we constructed a co-expression system of (E)-α-bisabolene synthase and P450 from P. chrysosporium (PcCYP). Semi-comprehensive screening using 120 isoforms of PcCYPs resulted in the identification of CYP5158A1 and CYP5144C8, two P450s capable of decorating (E)-α-bisabolene.
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