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Tracking the sterol biosynthesis pathway of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Michele Fabris (UGent) , Michiel Matthijs (UGent) , Sophie Carbonelle (UGent) , Tessa Moses (UGent) , Jacob Pollier (UGent) , Renaat Dasseville (UGent) , Gino Baart (UGent) , Wim Vyverman (UGent) and Alain Goossens (UGent)
(2014) NEW PHYTOLOGIST. 204(3). p.521-535
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Abstract
Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic microalgae that play a major role in global primary production and aquatic biogeochemical cycling. Endosymbiotic events and recurrent gene transfers uniquely shaped the genome of diatoms, which contains features from several domains of life. The biosynthesis pathways of sterols, essential compounds in all eukaryotic cells, and many of the enzymes involved are evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes. Although well characterized in most eukaryotes, the pathway leading to sterol biosynthesis in diatoms has remained hitherto unidentified. Through the DiatomCyc database we reconstructed the mevalonate and sterol biosynthetic pathways of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum in silico. We experimentally verified the predicted pathways using enzyme inhibitor, gene silencing and heterologous gene expression approaches. Our analysis revealed a peculiar, chimeric organization of the diatom sterol biosynthesis pathway, which possesses features of both plant and fungal pathways. Strikingly, it lacks a conventional squalene epoxidase and utilizes an extended oxidosqualene cyclase and a multifunctional isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase/squalene synthase enzyme. The reconstruction of the P.tricornutum sterol pathway underscores the metabolic plasticity of diatoms and offers important insights for the engineering of diatoms for sustainable production of biofuels and high-value chemicals.
Keywords
ACCUMULATION, LIPID DROPLETS, ARABIDOPSIS, chimeric pathway, diatom, fusion enzymes, isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase, oxidosqualene cyclase, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, EXPRESSION, EPOXIDASE, EVOLUTION, sterol biosynthesis, MARINE DIATOMS, SACCHAROMYCES-CEREVISIAE, ISOPRENOID BIOSYNTHESIS, SQUALENE MONOOXYGENASE, squalene epoxidase

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Chicago
Fabris, Michele, Michiel Matthijs, Sophie Carbonelle, Tessa Moses, Jacob Pollier, Renaat Dasseville, Gino Baart, Wim Vyverman, and Alain Goossens. 2014. “Tracking the Sterol Biosynthesis Pathway of the Diatom Phaeodactylum Tricornutum.” New Phytologist 204 (3): 521–535.
APA
Fabris, M., Matthijs, M., Carbonelle, S., Moses, T., Pollier, J., Dasseville, R., Baart, G., et al. (2014). Tracking the sterol biosynthesis pathway of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 204(3), 521–535.
Vancouver
1.
Fabris M, Matthijs M, Carbonelle S, Moses T, Pollier J, Dasseville R, et al. Tracking the sterol biosynthesis pathway of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. NEW PHYTOLOGIST. 2014;204(3):521–35.
MLA
Fabris, Michele, Michiel Matthijs, Sophie Carbonelle, et al. “Tracking the Sterol Biosynthesis Pathway of the Diatom Phaeodactylum Tricornutum.” NEW PHYTOLOGIST 204.3 (2014): 521–535. Print.
@article{5767216,
  abstract     = {Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic microalgae that play a major role in global primary production and aquatic biogeochemical cycling. Endosymbiotic events and recurrent gene transfers uniquely shaped the genome of diatoms, which contains features from several domains of life. The biosynthesis pathways of sterols, essential compounds in all eukaryotic cells, and many of the enzymes involved are evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes. Although well characterized in most eukaryotes, the pathway leading to sterol biosynthesis in diatoms has remained hitherto unidentified. Through the DiatomCyc database we reconstructed the mevalonate and sterol biosynthetic pathways of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum in silico. We experimentally verified the predicted pathways using enzyme inhibitor, gene silencing and heterologous gene expression approaches. Our analysis revealed a peculiar, chimeric organization of the diatom sterol biosynthesis pathway, which possesses features of both plant and fungal pathways. Strikingly, it lacks a conventional squalene epoxidase and utilizes an extended oxidosqualene cyclase and a multifunctional isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase/squalene synthase enzyme. The reconstruction of the P.tricornutum sterol pathway underscores the metabolic plasticity of diatoms and offers important insights for the engineering of diatoms for sustainable production of biofuels and high-value chemicals.},
  author       = {Fabris, Michele and Matthijs, Michiel and Carbonelle, Sophie and Moses, Tessa and Pollier, Jacob and Dasseville, Renaat and Baart, Gino and Vyverman, Wim and Goossens, Alain},
  issn         = {0028-646X},
  journal      = {NEW PHYTOLOGIST},
  keywords     = {ACCUMULATION,LIPID DROPLETS,ARABIDOPSIS,chimeric pathway,diatom,fusion enzymes,isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase,oxidosqualene cyclase,Phaeodactylum tricornutum,EXPRESSION,EPOXIDASE,EVOLUTION,sterol biosynthesis,MARINE DIATOMS,SACCHAROMYCES-CEREVISIAE,ISOPRENOID BIOSYNTHESIS,SQUALENE MONOOXYGENASE,squalene epoxidase},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {521--535},
  title        = {Tracking the sterol biosynthesis pathway of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.12917},
  volume       = {204},
  year         = {2014},
}

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